Textiles blaze at Essex waste site

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) were called to a significant fire on 12 May 2024, involving 600 tonnes of mixed textiles at a waste site in Braintree.

Footage taken at the scene showed much of the disposal site ablaze with huge plumes of thick smoke surrounding the area. Watch Manager for ECFRS, Steve Byrne confirmed that on arrival, firefighters found a “large pile of mixed textiles on fire”.

Crews from Braintree, Halstead, and Coggeshall fire stations attended the incident, with firefighters remaining overnight to bring the fire under control. Locals were requested to keep windows and doors shut while firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze. Byrne added that there was a “lot of smoke coming from the scene which has caused a smoke plume going towards the Bocking area”.

Firefighters continued to tackle hotspots until the following morning, with Watch Manager John Palmer explaining: "Crews have worked hard overnight to tackle the fire hotspots in the waste and get the smoke down as much as possible.

"We are continuing to monitor the hotspots and will remain here until it is safe to hand back over to site staff."

By the afternoon, ECFRS was satisfied that the fire had been extinguished, adding there was “no risk of smoke to the community” and that crews would remain on site to monitor the scene.

As reported by ITV News, the cause of the fire is currently unknown.


(Photograph by Essex County Fire and Rescue Service)