Landfill blaze 'spontaneous combustion'

FIRE crews were called to one of Hartlepool's Grot Spots to deal with another rubbish blaze.

Crews from the town's Stranton Fire Station were called to the Seaton Meadows landfill site around 6.25am yesterday.

Flames were reported to have been coming from rubbish at the landfill, but fire chiefs said the cause was more likely to have been spontaneous combustion rather than deliberate. A spokesman for Stranton Fire Station said: "Flames were coming out of the landfill at Seaton Meadows, on the tip.

"It was probably just combustible materials. When you have landfills like that, they retain heat and the rubbish spontaneously ignites."

The Mail featured the landfill site in its Spot The Grots campaign after residents complained the tip had become an eyesore towering into the Seaton Carew skyline.

Local councillor Mike Turner had said the landfill site could be seen 100ft high to the south of the resort, despite guidelines saying it should be less than 54ft high.

Management at Alab Environmental Services, which runs the landfill site, have said the company is discussing possible future uses of the site with Hartlepool Borough Council and the local community to see how it could develop once it comes to the end of its life as a waste disposal facility.

The Spot The Grots campaign was launched by the Mail after town mayor Stuart Drummond drew up a list of eyesores that need action to stop them hampering the good regeneration work being done in the town.