Fire experts believe rubbish blaze at Sidcup was ‘started deliberately’

PUBLISHED: 15:50 23 January 2012

fire crews examine blaze at skip yard near Sevenoaks Way, Sidcup/Orpington. Picture by: Simon Hildrew

fire crews examine blaze at skip yard near Sevenoaks Way, Sidcup/Orpington. Picture by: Simon Hildrew

Simon hildrew

Detectives are investigating the cause of a blaze which paralysed traffic in the run up to Christmas.

Fire investigation officers have handed over the case of the fire at a rubbish dump at Cornwall Drive on the borders of Orpington and Sidcup which forced road closures nearby.

Traffic was held up at the A224 Sevenoaks Way and the A20 Sidcup by-pass after piles of rubbish at the dump caught fire in the early evening on December 3.

Nearby residents were also advised to stay inside and keep doors and windows closed as firefighters rushed to the scene.

After a thorough examination fire investigation experts have deduced that the fire was started deliberately.

A Bromley police spokesman said: “We’ve received the London Fire Brigade report stating that they believe that the fire was started deliberately, so we’re investigating it as arson.”

Motorists endured three days of closures and disruption as fire crews worked on the site affecting the Crittals Corner area of Sidcup.

Firefighters were called to the waste site at Cornwall Drive, near Crittalls Corner, on Saturday December 3.

Crews remained until the following Tuesday night (Dec 6) damping down pockets of fire after they tackled the main blaze at the dump which contained plastics and wood. Up to 30 firefighters tackled the blaze and at one point used diggers to clear part of the site to enable them to damp down the fire. Firefighters from Orpington, Sidcup, Eltham and Bromley fire stations worked in shifts to deal with the fire.

Investigators were unable to go onto the site and start examining evidence for several days as the burning material was too hot.

Police are keen to hear from any witnesses or anyone who spotted anything suspicious near the site.

Anyone with any information about the blaze should contact Bromley Police’s CID on 020 8284 8859 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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