High winds caused thick black smoke to close M275 after massive fire in Tipner

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High winds made driving on the M275 "dangerous" after thick black smoke from a massive fire in Tipner spread over the motorway "completely obscuring visibility".

The scene of the fire: Lara KellsThe scene of the fire: Lara KellsThe scene of the fire: Lara Kells

A huge fire at TJ Waste & Recycling, Tipner, early on Saturday resulted in the M275 being closed from the early hours of Saturday before it was reopened and then closed again due to the spread of smoke. The motorway was reopened on Sunday afternoon.

A fire service spokesperson said: "The fire began in the early hours of Saturday morning in a large waste processing unit, in Tipner Lane - Portsmouth. The building, consisting of two floors, sustained 50 per cent damage, whilst the contents, 117 tonnes of domestic waste material, was completely consumed by the fire.

Crews worked tirelessly throughout Saturday evening and for most of Sunday. "High winds caused the thick smoke to travel over a section of the M275 by Tipner Lane, completely obscuring visibility and making the situation dangerous for motorists, the decision was made by the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary to close the motorway until conditions improved. "A high volume pumping unit, utilising sea water, with the assistance of multiple appliances and two monitors, as well as breathing apparatus for crews aided in getting the fire under control.

Bunding is being used to prevent water run-off from entering the sea and supporting our environmental protection plan. "We would like to Thank our colleagues at the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary, Portsmouth City Council, National Highways, TJ waste and Recycling teams for helping with the clear up and HANTSAR, for their assistance." A spokesperson for TJ Waste & Recycling said: "We are deeply appreciative of the work done by crews from Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue and their control room.

"We also express our thanks to the police and city council for arranging road diversions due to the closure of the M275 for safety reasons due to the smoke.

We also extend our gratitude to the public for their understanding and patience over the weekend during this unprecedented incident.

"TJ staff are on site, assisting firefighters in dampening the fire within the building with the use of our plant and equipment."


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