Large fire at recycling plant – Nechells, Birmingham

Approximately 8000 tonnes of paper and cardboard bales alight in huge blaze



Published on 12 June 2022
This incident is closed

Mount Street, Nechells, Birmingham, UK

At 19:40 on Sunday 12 June, we were called to an incident on Mount Street, Nechells, Birmingham.

This incident involves a large amount of paper and cardboard bales on fire at a warehouse.

At the height of the incident, we had more than 30 fire appliances in attendance – including two aerial hydraulic platforms, multiple fire engines, a high volume water pumping unit, and one of our drones.

Crews from stations across the West Midlands are working extremely hard to tackle the blaze using main jets.

We are working closely with Police and Ambulance colleagues, the Environment Agency, Severn Trent Water, and on-site staff, to bring the incident to a safe conclusion.

There are no reports of any casualties.

See below for further updates.

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Updates for this incident


This has been declared a major incident, due to the amount of resources in use and the likely extended nature of the incident.


Area Commander Sam Burton provides an update on ongoing incident:


Excellent progress has been made by crews throughout the night as they continue to work toward bringing this incident to a safe conclusion. It’s expected that we will be in attendance in some capacity for at least the next 48 hours.

Heartlands Parkway heading into Birmingham City Centre has been reopened. The route out of the city remains closed.


Eight fire engines and some 50 personnel continue to bring this large-scale incident to a safe conclusion.

We have worked closely with several other agencies, including our blue light colleagues, highways officers and the Environment Agency, to coordinate a joint and effective approach.

The on-site fire safety procedures helped us in our initial attack on the fire. We have worked with on-site staff and enabled the company to continue some of its usual operations this morning.

Our fire investigators will today be working to try to establish how the fire started.

Firefighters have faced challenging conditions at the site, including the amount of smoke created.

Staff in our fire control were pivotal in coordinating our response and resources.

Part of our firefighting plan included use of our specialist high volume water pumping unit. At one stage this was pumping and relaying 8000 litres of water per minute from a nearby canal.


Crews continue to make good progress with this incident.

We’ve scaled our operations down to 4 crews and one hydraulic platform, with around 35 firefighters still working at the site.

We’re being aided by on-site staff and plant machinery to move materials and damp down hot spots. Police also remain in attendance helping to keep the scene safe.

Heartlands Parkway is now re-opened.

We expect to be at the site into the evening and likely overnight while firefighting and recovery operations continue.


Our work at the scene has continued overnight.

We still have 30 firefighters there, plus five fire engines, an aerial platform and our high volume water pumping unit.

On-site staff continue to support our operations, using forklifts and diggers to help move and break up bales.

Our many operational considerations have included monitoring wind speed and direction, and doing everything possible to avoid water from the scene entering a nearby river.


Our operations continue at the Smurfit Kappa site in Birmingham, nearly three days after a huge fire started there on Sunday evening.

Today (Wed), three fire engines, an aerial platform and our high volume pumping unit have remained at the scene.

Around 20 of our firefighters have been working with on-site personnel to break up and thoroughly dampen down burning material, before it can safely be removed to another site. This process now involves five diggers working around the clock.

We are doing all we can to enable the company to resume more of its usual business as soon as possible.

We hope to be able to further scale down our resources at the site this evening.


Two fire engines remain at the site.

Our high volume pumping unit, which has supplied water from a nearby canal throughout the incident, will be leaving the scene shortly.


A single fire engine remains at the scene maintaining a ‘watching brief’ – checking for hot spots, damping down where needed and monitoring the scene.

On-site staff are using diggers to turn over piles of paper.


Our crews remain at the scene.

Due to an increase in wind speed, additional smoke is being generated. Rest assured our crews are still on-site and are dealing with hotspots.


We can confirm that the fire started accidentally, after a disposable barbecue was dumped in a skip just metres from the Smurfit site. Please click here to read our press release and safety warning.

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