Burton Mail - - Front Page - By BETH PRIDDING bethany.pridding@reach­ @beth­prid­ding

A LARGE fire at a scrap­yard in Church Gres­ley is be­lieved to have been started de­lib­er­ately, po­lice have said.

Fire crews from six sta­tions in Der­byshire, Stafford­shire and North West Le­ices­ter­shire were called to the premises in Pool Street early yes­ter­day af­ter the fire broke out in­side a build­ing at the premises.

It started at 4am and crews were still there 12 hours later damp­en­ing down.

Ear­lier, they had man­aged to keep the fire con­tained to the build­ing.

Ini­tially it had been thought there was as­bestos in the build­ing, but this was not an is­sue, said a fire ser­vice spokesman.

Fire crews from Swadlin­cote, Bur­ton, Ashby, Mel­bourne, Cas­tle Don­ing­ton and Coalville were called to deal with the fire in a build­ing at the Church Gres­ley scrap­yard op­er­a­tion.

It was thought the fire was at the for­mer TG Green site, but a spokesman for the her­itage mu­seum for the com­pany said the Grade II-listed build- ing for­merly owned by the pot­tery com­pany was not af­fected. The name of the premises has not been re­leased by po­lice.

Der­byshire fire sta­tion man­ager Michael Haslam, 39, led yes­ter­day’s op­er­a­tion. He said: “We got the call at around 4am and the fire was thought to be out­side but when we ar­rived it turned out to be con­tained in­side a build­ing.

“Our crews have been work­ing through the night and man­aged to keep the fire con­fined to just the one build­ing, which was tough as it was very windy this morn­ing.

“The crews did a bril­liant job and it could have been a lot worse if the fire spread.

“We have now been work­ing to ex­tin­guish the fire grad­u­ally and re­treat­ing the fire­fight­ers where we can as it’s much safer for them and helps to pre­serve the scene for in­ves­ti­ga­tion work.”

He praised other fire ser­vices that at­tended the scene.

He said: “We have had crews from three dif­fer­ent coun­ties fight­ing the fire.

“They have all worked ex­cep­tion­ally hard and have done a fan­tas­tic job. It’s great that crews across the area have all been work­ing to­gether to make the scene safe.”

Fire­fight­ers at the scene wore breath-

The crews did a bril­liant job and it could have been a lot worse if the fire spread. Fire sta­tion man­ager Michael Haslam

ing ap­pa­ra­tus while they were tack­ling the fire as there was thought to be as­bestos in the build­ing.

Sta­tion man­ager Haslam said any as­bestos in the struc­ture was min­i­mal and there was no risk to the pub­lic.

He added equip­ment used by the fire­fight­ers was put in sep­a­rate bags af­ter­wards as a pre­cau­tion.

Of­fi­cers from Der­byshire Po­lice are now in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent to de­ter­mine how it hap­pened.

A spokesman for the force said: “The fire in Church Gres­ley is be­lieved to be ar­son and po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing what hap­pened.

“It was re­ported at a scrap­yard in Pool Street in the early hours of the morn­ing.

“Our in­quiries are on­go­ing and any­one with in­for­ma­tion is urged to get in touch with us by call­ing 101 and quot­ing in­ci­dent 106 of Novem­ber 9.”

Some of the fire­fight­ers who tack­led yes­ter­day’s blaze in Church Gres­ley. Be­low (left), the af­ter­math and fire sta­tion man­ager Michael Haslam

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