Safety concerns were raised days before huge fire at Sheffield scrap yard

Concerns about safety at a Sheffield scrap yard were raised days before a huge fire broke out there, it has emerged.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 12:36 pm

Firefighters spent days tackling a blaze at MHH Contracting on Carlisle Street, Burngreave, which broke out last Thursday, April 1, and sent smoke billowing across the city.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has now confirmed that concerns were raised about the site by a member of the public just over a week earlier.

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The huge scrap metal fire on Carlisle Street in Burngreave, Sheffield (pic: South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue)
The huge scrap metal fire on Carlisle Street in Burngreave, Sheffield (pic: South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue)

An HSE spokeswoman said: “HSE is aware of the concerns raised and has allocated an inspector to the case. We will liaise with the emergency services as required.”

Ian Tootill had contacted the HSE on March 23 to report what he described as a ‘serious hazard’ and ask the organisation to ‘look into these concerns as soon as possible’.

In an email, he wrote: “I have observed 100s of tonnes of overhanging scrap on top of a pile of aggregate, steep excavations with no staging and plant working underneath them. Evidence of uncontrolled collapse is seen in many areas.”

He continued: “I also have observed that one of the entrances to this site has no security or warnings, allowing easy access to the general public.”

At the height of the blaze, around 30 firefighters were battling the huge flames, and people were advised to close their windows and doors due to the amount of smoke.

The fire is now fully out and South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue said the cause remained under investigation.

The Star has contacted MHH Contracting, which has yet to respond.