FIRE crews from Wiveliscombe and Wellington were this morning (Tuesday, October 3) helping to battle a massive blaze which broke out in a recycling centre on the outskirts of Taunton.

They were among 60 firefighters at the incident scene in Somerset Council’s household waste and recycling centre on the Crown Industrial estate, Priorswood.

Residents in the area have been advised by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service (DSFRS) to stay indoors and keep their doors and windows closed.

Somerset Council waste services said the fire was in part of the site not used by the public known as the ‘transfer station’ where staff sorted material to send for reprocessing.

A spokesperson said: “The site is likely to be closed for most of the day if not all of it.”

There were fears a liquid nitrogen tank could explode in yesterday's farm fire in Stawley, near Wellington.
There were fears a liquid nitrogen tank could explode in yesterday's farm fire in Stawley, near Wellington. (DSFR)

Fire alarms started sounding at about 3.15 am and the first fire crews to reach the recycling centre confirmed there was a ‘well-established fire’ and called for more pumps as well as several special appliances and officers.

The crews went to work on the blaze using breathing apparatus, hose reel jets, and main jets but the fire was still ongoing as the commuter and school run rush began this morning. 

DSFRS mobilised six fire engines, two ladder platforms, and seven special appliances to the scene to try to contain the fire.

Fire crews were called from stations in Taunton, Bridgwater, Yeovil, Martock, Clyst St George, and Exeter’s Danes Castle, as well as Wellington and Wiveliscombe.

The incident comes a day after Wellington firefighters were involved in putting out a large hay barn fire in Stawley, to the west of the town.

More than 200 tonnes of hay and some farm machinery were alight and there were fears of an explosion because of a nearby liquid nitrogen tank.

Fire crews from as far as Torquay, in South Devon, were sent to Stawley as well as from Williton, Bampton, Crediton, Cullompton, Honiton, Tiverton, Witheridge, Clyst St George, Taunton, Bridgwater, and Martock.

While the Taunton recycling centre is closed, alternative sites can be found here.