Fire crews remain at the scene of a blaze that broke out at the Westwood Industrial Site yesterday (September 15). The warning to keep windows and doors closed in the area also remains in place.
Crews were called at 6.20am on Saturday to the blaze at the former Cummins/Hilger Analytical unit. At the height of the fire there were 80 firefighters, 14 engines and specialist vehicles on the scene.
The fire at #WestwoodCross is still burning / smouldering as I land back blanketing Margate in thick toxic smoke – see hi-res aerial photos. @bbcsoutheast @BBCRADIOKENT @BBCNews @SimonJonesNews @SkyNewsBreak pic.twitter.com/joXY9S1QgP
— Simon Moores (@SimonMoores) September 15, 2018
Firefighter Ian Thomson, who was the duty brigade manager at the scene yesterday, said the ‘intense’ fire could mean crews will stay at the scene ‘for days.’
He said the blaze has been fed because the unit is ‘packed from front to back with ‘flammable waste.’
Fears that the site was a potential fire hazard due to the waste in the building were raised in a BBC report in January. At the time the Environment Agency said it was investigating.
Today the warning to keep doors and windows closed in the area remains as crews continue to control the incident.
The number of fire engines at the scene has been reduced to five and steady progress continues to be made, with crews continuing with active firefighting. They have surrounded the fire and prevented it spreading to an adjacent building.
Measures taken to make sure the crew do not tire out include rotating staff. A KFRS spokesperson said: “They do get tired, so it’s important they have regular breaks and keep hydrated, we also rotate crews around and move them around the county to provide the additional support needed.”
Residents have been to the site to give crews water and food.
The cause of the blaze is not yet known.