Health fears as ‘acrid’ smoke wafts from fire

The still smouldering scene at Swarland Brickworks ,Thrunton.
The still smouldering scene at Swarland Brickworks ,Thrunton.

Health concerns have been raised by residents living near a carpet fire which has been burning for more than five weeks.

The blaze at the former Swarland Brickworks site, at Thrunton, started on Tuesday, September 3.

It happened in two warehouses containing bales of recycled carpet, which were the property of Blackwater Recycling.

The fire was kept under control but concerns about contamination of water sources meant it was left to burn out naturally.

But, five weeks on, it is still going and residents have raised concerns about the impact of ‘acrid’ smoke on their health, with reports of constant headaches, coughs and sore throats because of the smoke.

One resident said: “Washing comes in smelling of smoke but I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about the health risks.

“We have been asking for a smoke test to measure the toxins in the smoke.”

She added that there is a smoke monitor, which tests particles, and for six out of seven days it registered as being above the average safe levels.

“There must be something in it to make us all feel poorly,” she said.

“And with the volume of stuff there to burn it could go on for a year, we just don’t know.”