Crews tackle motorway lorry fire

M4 eastbound junctions 18 to 17

Firefighters have tackled a blaze involving a heavy goods vehicle containing approximately 30 tonnes of cardboard and paper for recycling.

When crews arrived on scene they found the vehicle well alight. As the bundles of paper and cardboard were tightly packed into the trailer, each bundle had to be broken down to ensure the fire was fully extinguished.

This process was quite time consuming and involved four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus using four high pressure hose reels and two 45mm jets.

Because of a lack of water in the area crews received assistance from the Highways Agency and firefighters from Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service who brought a bowser containing approximately 10,000 litres of water. A water dam, which is like an inflatable pond, was set up for crews to get water on to the fire.

It’s thought the fire started accidentally after a brake drum on the lorry overheated and a spark ignited the paper and cardboard. Fortunately no one was hurt.

Crews then left the scene but returned at 22.49hrs as some of the cardboard which had been left on the hard shoulder to be cleared had reignited. Crews worked to turn over and damp down the cardboard and were expected to return to the scene today for reinspection.