Nobody was injured in recycling facility blaze

By Maurice Garvey

THE blaze which broke out at Thorntons recycling centre in Ballyfermot on Saturday night thankfully led to no injuries or disruption to services.

A spokesperson for Thorntons told The Echo there has been no damage to the company’s fleet of trucks, nor do they store hazardous waste.

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Dublin Fire Brigade at the blaze on Saturday (Images: Dublin Fire Brigade and Anthony O’Brien)

Eight units of Dublin Fire Brigade attended the Killeen Road blaze on Saturday night.

Locals were urged by DFB to keep “windows closed” if they lived nearby due to the plumes of smoke.

Residents told The Echo there was “tons of black smoke” seen over Ballyfermot.

Firefighters brought the fire under control at around 2am, and a cloud of fog permeated throughout the vicinity of the centre the following morning.

A Thorntons spokesperson told The Echo: “Thankfully no staff were injured during the fire. The company does not handle hazardous waste at the facility.  We would like to thank the Dublin Fire Brigade for bringing the fire under control so quickly and we will continue to work with all regulatory bodies in their review of the incident. 

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The big clean up began on Sunday morning (Images: Dublin Fire Brigade and Anthony O’Brien)

“There will be no disruption to services as there was no damage to the company’s fleet and the company operates a number of other licensed authorised recycling facilities for processing material.”

Gardai attended the scene of the fire and put a cordon on place.

A garda spokesperson said it may be a number of days before the site can be made safe for examination by investigators.

DFB used heavy machinery to remove waste that had been cooled and water supplies were augmented by taking water from the nearby Grand Canal.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were on the scene on Sunday morning, and “will carry out an investigation once it is safe to do so - as advised by the fire service.”

TD Brid Smith (PBP), who lives nearby and has long campaigned against the “foul air” of the waste depot, met with owner Shane Thornton on Sunday.

“There are 150 jobs at risk that hopefully will be safeguarded for the future. Thankfully nobody was hurt in the fire. DFB did an amazing job in bringing the fire under control. The damage is clearly massive,” said Deputy Smith.

“We have lobbied the EPA and complained to them frequently about the air quality in Ballyfermot over the years. It is wrong to have food waste being stored and processed so close to where we live.

“I reiterated these points to Shane Thornton and made a direct appeal to him to consider moving his plant out of the area.

“At the very minimum the storage and bailing of re-cycled food waste should not be allowed near a heavily populated area like Ballyfermot.”

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