rossendale fire

Lithium battery causes fire in truck carrying paper and cardboard for recycling

Residents are being reminded to dispose of their batteries in the correct manner after a fire broke out in a recycling vehicle due to a suspected ruptured lithium battery.

Just before 12pm on Tuesday, May 21, emergency services were called to a fire in a HGV vehicle just outside of Rossendale Transfer Station.

The HGV driver spotted smoke rising from the truck early, and safely manoeuvred the HGV away from nearby buildings before uncoupling the trailer from the vehicle, and calling emergency services. The recyclables were safely tipped onto the yard floor at the waste depot. Emergency services managed to swiftly extinguish the fire.

The cause of the fire was thought to be a ruptured lithium battery, causing ignition of paper and card that had been collected for recycling whilst being loaded into the vehicle prior to dispatch.­

County Councillor Shaun Turner, cabinet member for Environment and Climate Change said: "This incident highlights how just one small battery which has not been recycled properly can cause such a bit impact.

"Had the HGV driver not noticed the fire very early, the whole HGV could have gone up in flames, putting the driver, local infrastructure and others lives at risk.

"Any battery, no matter how big or small, can cause fires at our depots and in or vehicles, which is why it is so important to dispose of them correctly."

To find out more information on the right way to recycle your batteries, visit Recycling - Lancashire County Council.

Notes to editors

Notes to editors: No staff were injured and the use of the site has not been affected.