South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) has welcomed the prison sentences handed to two people for flouting environmental laws after a fire at an illegal tyre dump in Mexborough.
At the height of the blaze, at White Lea Grove on 28 June 2010, around 60 firefighters were at the scene and scores of homes had to be evacuated due to safety fears. Around 120,000 tyres caught fire, with fire crews at the scene until 7 July.
The incident cost SYFR around £300,000 to deal with, as thousands of litres of foam had to be brought in from outside the county for firefighters to douse the flames.
Last month Jane Hopkins of Ewood Drive, Cantley and David Squire of Cecil Avenue, Warmsworth, were both jailed for nine months for numerous breaches of environmental health laws. They admitted operating the dump without an Environmental Permit and keeping tyres in a manner likely to cause pollution.
SYFR’s Area Manager Dave Kiddy, head of service delivery support, said: “As well as the environmental risks posed by this incident, the fire threatened nearby residential properties and took up a significant proportion of our resources for several days.
“Tyre fires by their very nature are extremely difficult to deal with and carry a number of different risks. It is absolutely right that businesses or individuals who deliberately ignore laws which are there to protect the environment are held to account for their irresponsible actions.”