A fire at a disused factory unit in Lichfield was started deliberately, investigators have confirmed.
Crews from across the Midlands were called to help tackle the blaze at the former GKN site on the Crossfield Industrial Estate after it broke out at 7.20pm yesterday (June 13).
But Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service say they believe the fire – which saw bales of waste torched – was started on purpose.
Station manager Bob Preston said: “It is extremely concerning that this fire was caused deliberately and we will be working closely with Staffordshire Police as they carry out their investigations. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact them.
“These fires take up considerable time and resources. If so many of our firefighters are at these incidents they are not available to respond to other emergencies.
“It is also very disappointing to see another large fire involving illegal waste in Staffordshire. This is the fourth incident of its type in the last 12 months.
“We had already visited and risk assessed this site. Thanks to our planning work with partner agencies we were able to put our robust multi-agency plans into action and limiting the scale and impact the fire had on the surrounding community and transport network.”
Although the incident is now under control, firefighters say they are likely to be damping down at the scene for several days.
Mr Preston added: “We are still advising local people to keep windows and doors closed, due to the smoke,as a precaution.
“There are still crews at the scene continuing work to put out the fire and we expect to have firefighters at the incident for the next few days.”