South Scotland

Fire crews tackle Dumfries waste plant blaze

Deco plant fire
Image caption Emergency services were called to the scene following reports of thick black smoke

Fire crews have been tackling a blaze at a waste processing plant on the outskirts of Dumfries.

Emergency services were called out at about 08:00 on Thursday after reports of thick black smoke at the Scotgen site off the town's Lockerbie Road.

It is understood there was nobody in the property at the time.

Local firefighters were joined by a crew from Carlisle and a specialist vehicle was sent to the scene from Hamilton.

Due to live electricity in the property operations were being conducted from outside of the building housing hundreds of tonnes of commercial waste.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has been informed.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) said it had sent more than 30 firefighters to the incident.

A spokesperson said: "We received a number of 999 calls from the public reporting thick smoke emanating from the roof of an industrial building on Lockerbie Road.

"Operations control mobilised two appliances from Dumfries and the crews arrived to find a well-developed fire had taken hold of property.

"Members of staff at the site reported there was no-one within the building and the incident commander ordered his firefighters to tackle the flames from outside using main water jets."

Crews from Dumfries, Annan, Lockerbie, Castle Douglas and Kirkcudbright were dispatched along with an aerial rescue pump from Hamilton.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service also provided an appliance, crew and station manager from across the border in Carlisle.

"The fire has now been surrounded and ground monitors are in place as crews continue operations, which are likely to be on-going for some time," added the spokesperson.

The £20m plant, which uses rubbish to produce energy, was officially opened in 2009.

It was the first such plant to become operational in Scotland.

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