thick smoke filled a Sheffield street as several tonnes of household refuse burned in a building fire.
Firefighters tackled the blaze inside a building at Veolia, on Tinsley Park Road, Attercliffe, for several hours yesterday, taking water from the canal behind the site to douse the flames.
Around 20 staff who work at the Tinsley waste transfer station were evacuated as were those from nearby businesses.
Barbara George, owner of the stil-open Tom Dip cafe, said: “We saw all the thick black smoke, one of our drivers said you could see it from the M1.”
An employee at nearby Insign, which was also evacuated by police, added: “You couldn’t see anything whatsoever on the road, not even the cars on the other side.”
Around 30 firefighters from stations across Sheffield raced to the scene at 10am and were still there some hours later. Tinsley Park Road was also closed.
Incident commander Simon Duncan, station manager, said: “We’ve had quite a bit of smoke and there were concerns for nearby residents, who were asked to keep their doors and windows closed.
“We used water from the canal, working with the Environment Agency, to fill our firefighting jets.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
A Veolia spokesman said: “No one has been injured with all twenty staff safely evacuated.
“Contingency arrangements were put in place to divert waste from Tinsley so our recycling services continued as normal and collections were unaffected. We take health and safety extremely seriously and are undertaking a full investigation.”