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  • Safety chiefs turn up the heat on Port bosses after huge dock blaze

    Ollie Cowan

    concerned health are set to turn up the heat on docklands bosses after a second blaze ripped through the port. 

    Sefton Council and Merseyside Fire & Rescue want to hold a crisis meeting to discuss the latest huge fire earlier this month at the European Metal Recycling plant at Alexandra Dock.

    The blaze at EMR, who are tenants on the Peel-owned dock,  spread fumes across the borough and took firefighters days to put out.

    The latest incident, which started at around 4am on Saturday, March 11, saw flames quickly spread to a large area, with Merseyside Fire and Rescue advising nearby residents to stay indoors due to the smoke.

    By Tuesday, March 14, firefighters  were still  trying to reduce the fire  and were  advising locals to keep their doors and windows shut due to a ‘residual smoke haze.’

    Blaze

    Although the fire was at Alexandra Dock in Bootle, residents as far as Crosby complained of a ‘strange smell’ on Saturday morning.

    Bootle MP Peter Dowd praised firefighters but also said he wanted ‘answers’ as to how the fire started in the first place.

    He posted on Twitter: “Great work by the fire service. Now it's time to get to grips with the cause of the fire and answers to many questions we all have. Pronto!”

    It’s the second huge fire that has made headlines – previously firefighters were forced to tackle a major blaze at the docklands site late last year which took four days to be extinguished.

    Huge plumes of smoke during the fires end up billowing across large parts of Merseyside and road closures, diversions and health risks have led the council to decide that enough is enough.

    Crisis meeting

    Councillors at Sefton Council are organising a meeting with the relevant agencies to discuss the next steps in a bid to stop more fires from breaking out in the future.

    South Sefton councillors, Council officers, Bootle MP Peter Dowd, and representatives from Peel Ports, HSE, Environment Agency, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and EMR have all been invited to attend at the end of the month.

     Cllr Ian Maher, Labour Leader at Sefton Council, said: “Following the latest fire at the EMR site something needs to be done to stop this from happening again.

     ”The health and wellbeing of our local communities is of paramount importance to us and we want to reassure them that we are doing all we can with the relevant agencies.

     ”We want us all to sit down together and try to understand why this happens on a regular basis and what can be done to prevent such a nuisance blighting our communities again.

    “We want answers and actions and we want them quickly.”


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