'Huge' fire at Kingsnorth waste oil depot

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Media captionThe fire began at Kingsnorth Industrial Estate about 2300 BST

More than 60 firefighters have spent the night tackling a major blaze at a waste oil depot near Kingsnorth power station in Kent.

One eyewitness described the fire at Eco-Oil Ltd at the Kingsnorth Industrial Estate at Hoo as "huge".

Kent Fire and Rescue Service managed to contain burning oil which spread on to adjacent land cleared for development.

Firefighters said the blaze started at about 2300 BST and was finally brought under control at around 0545 BST.

The fire started in two road tankers before spreading to plastic and steel drum oil containers.

No casualties have been reported.

'Exploding oil barrels'

At least 10 fire crews from around the county were tackling the fire, with extra foam units brought in from London and Essex.

Graham Gash, area manager from Kent Fire and Rescue said: "Crews have done a great job in fighting this serious fire and successfully managing to prevent it spreading further and damaging nearby buildings.

"We worked alongside our partners from the London Fire Brigade and Essex Fire and Rescue Service and I think praise goes to everyone for a job well done."

Mr Gash said crews were confronted by a very serious fire involving road tanker vehicles carrying 1,000-litre containers of reclaimed engine oil and numerous 200-litre barrels of oil which were exploding.

He added: "More importantly, we had fuel that was flowing from the site and this posed a significant threat to the surrounding building which was three industrial units."

Thermal imaging checks

The fire officer said foam had to be used to put out a very hot oil fire, while two high volume water supplies were needed for a major foam strike - one for cooling and one for foam production.

He added: "This particular area is not very well served with a good water supply so we had to run in two water mains from Kingsnorth power station."

By about 0800 BST on Saturday, fire crews had entered the turning over and damping down phase, Mr Gash said.

He said crews were working to make sure the fire was out and checking the industrial units with thermal imaging cameras to make sure there had been no undetected fire spread.

Mr Gash said there was minimal risk to people nearby because the industrial estate was surrounded by commercial industrial retail outlets and not residential areas.

He said the brigade's fire investigation team would be investigating the cause of the fire along with Kent Police.

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