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Striking firefighters recalled as Dagenham scrap fire becomes ‘major incident’

PUBLISHED: 19:10 01 November 2013 | UPDATED: 20:57 01 November 2013

The view from above of the fire taken by the MPS helicopter

The view from above of the fire taken by the MPS helicopter

Archant

All striking firefighters are being immediately recalled to their stations as a scrap yard fire in Dagenham has become a “major incident”.

Witness Ian Wall said the flames were "at least 20 to 30 metres high"Witness Ian Wall said the flames were "at least 20 to 30 metres high"

Up to 120 firefighters are currently tackling the blaze in Perry Road, close to the junction with Chequers Lane, Dagenham, after efforts to extinguish it were doubled in the last hour.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) had been due to go on strike at 6.30pm as part of an ongoing dispute over pensions.

However there is some confusion over the situation with the FBU claiming on Twitter: “Contrary to statement of London Fire Bridage, FBU members are not being recalled for the Dagenham fire. LFB has breached recall agreement.”

The Recall to Duty Procedure, which sees watch staff normally on duty asked return to duty, is understood to be voluntary.

The fire at a scrap yard in Perry Road, at  the junction with Chequers lane, DagenhamThe fire at a scrap yard in Perry Road, at the junction with Chequers lane, Dagenham

Initially eight pumps and 58 firefighters were called to the scene at 3.19pm but this has since more than doubled to 20 fire engines and as many as 120 crew members.

Around 1,500 tonnes of scrap metal is alight and a safety perimeter has been put in place by officers who believe cylinders could be at risk of exploding due to the intense heat.

Thick black smoke from the fire at a scrap dealers in Perry Road, close to the junction with Chequers Lane, Dagenham, can be seen for miles around, according to a spokesperson for London Fire Bridgade (LFB).

Police said local road closures were in place and motorists are advised to avoid the area if at all possible.

The A13 remains open at this time but may have to be closed if conditions change, they added.

There are no reported injuries at this time.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


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