VIDEO: Blaze at Sheffield plastics factory

Firefighters from across South Yorkshire are still at the scene of a massive blaze at a plastics recycling plant just outside Sheffield city centre - damping down.

VIDEO: Press the play button to watch digital editor Graham Walker’s video report.

Picture of plastics factory fire taken by Ian Wright from Greystones

Picture of plastics factory fire taken by Ian Wright from Greystones

Fire crews expect to remain there for the next two days - ensuring all the flames are fully extinguished and damping down.

Members of Sheffield Council’s dangerous structures team are also due to visit the site today to assess the condition of the plastic recycling plant, which was severely damaged in the blaze.

A major incident plan was put in place after the blaze started in a refuse dump on Foley Street, off Effingham Street in Attercliffe and spread to a nearby recycling plant run by Sheffield Reclaim Ltd - with 20 tonnes of plastic fuelling the blaze.

A huge plume of thick black smoke spiralled up into the sky eastwards and could soon be seen for miles - as far away as Leeds.

Firefighters fought to get as much water onto the seat of the flames as fast as they could, using water from rivers and canals.

They also used their most powerful jet - later calling for a second one from Nottinghamshire Fire Service.

Incident commander Rick Rolt of South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The crews did an absolutely fantastic job.

“We were really worried about the fire spreading to neighbouring buildings such as Veolia’s energy recovery facility.

“Then there would have been lots of potentially hazardous problems and we’d have been looking at evacuations.

“But the crews put some fire breaks in to stop the fire spreading, and they managed to contain it to the premise involved.”

Police have warned members of the public to stay away from the area.

Roads including Attercliffe Road, at its junction with Bernard Road, Effingham Street and Worthing Road are all closed.

The smoke spiralled up into the sky and could soon be seen across the city and as far away as Leeds.

People living nearby were warned to keep their windows and doors firmly shut.

Fire crews in ten appliances were soon at the scene, from seven different stations across the county.

The crews involved are from Darnall, Mansfield Road, Central, Rotherham, Aston Park, Maltby and Barnsley.

Back up was also called in from Staveley and Dronfield stations in Derbyshire.

The South Yorkshire Police helicopter was also used to offer guidance to the firefighters below.

The fire service spokesman said: “Fire crews were first called at 2.30pm.

“There are no reports of any casualties but a large plume of black smoke is spreading across the local area, and local people are advised to go indoors and keep their doors and windows closed.

Incident Commander Rolt said there were still ten fire engines at the scene plus a high volume pump and an aerial ladder platform but it may be possible to scale back operations later this evening.

He said: “We’re likely to be turning the plastics over and damping down for days but we’ve just got monitor jets on the fire now so we may be able to scale back later.”

Hundreds of Star readers sent in their photographs of the fire - we are featuring two pages of them in The Star on Tuesday, July 16.

SLIDESHOW AND GALLERY: See many of your photographs on our web site - CLICK HERE,