Investigation starts into massive fire at Hilsea recycling plant

The fire at the industrial estate in Hilsea
The fire at the industrial estate in Hilsea

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AN INVESTIGATION has been launched into the cause of a major fire at a recycling plant.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service began a probe yesterday into how the blaze broke out at Shawcross Industrial Park on Sunday morning.

Smoke from the fire at the industrial unit, in Hilsea Picture: Claire Ansell

Smoke from the fire at the industrial unit, in Hilsea Picture: Claire Ansell

A spokesman said: ‘A fire investigation started on Sunday night and is ongoing.’

As reported in The News, nine fire crews tackled the blaze throughout the day.

Engines from Cosham, Portchester and Havant were dispatched following a call just after 8.30am.

Crews from Fareham, Waterlooville, Wickham and Redbridge later assisted.

It is thought that the fire involved a paper compactor and a large amount of confidential waste.

Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones said that the fire was ‘obviously extremely worrying’.

She said: ‘I would like to thank all the emergency services for working diligently, and to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service for advising members of the public to keep their windows closed.

‘I look forward to seeing the report and finding out what happened in due course.’

According to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, the fire spread to two neighbouring premises in the estate, one of which had an asbestos roof.

A stop message from fire crews was sent out at 4.11pm, nearly eight hours after they were alerted.

Two foam jets, three water jets and two breathing apparatus were used by fire crews.

Police officers were also called, partly to deal with members of the public who had congregated to catch a glimpse of the fire.

The road was closed by police to prevent any further interference from pedestrians.

Thick clouds of black smoke could be seen miles away from the scene, with photos emerging from residents on Portsdown Hill.

Founded in Portsmouth 30 years ago, GHS Recycling Ltd specialises in confidential data destruction. The company refused to comment.