Two Hospitalised As Melbourne Recycling Plant Burns For Second Day

Melbourne Fire

A relief centre has been set up at the Broadmeadows Aquatic and Leisure Centre located at 41-85 Tanderrum Way, Broadmeadows.

Incident controller Mark Swiney said there were about 115 households that had been advised to evacuate, but it was hard to know how many people were affected. People are being advised to collect their medicines, pets and belongings and securely lock their houses before leaving.

The fire, which broke out at SKM Recycling on Maffra Street about 9am on Thursday, continues to burn 24 hours later.

When the blaze ignited, masked police and SES crews door-knocked houses and evacuated residents due to fears about the risky smoke.

A watch and act warning for smoke remains in place for a number of suburbs across Melbourne's north including Broadmeadows, Campbellfield, Fawkner, Glenroy, Jacana, Westmeadows. Close all exterior doors, windows and vents and ensure that heating and cooling systems are turned off.

Brendan Pendergast, principal of the law firm, said it was particularly concerning that there had been numerous previous incidences of fire at the recycling plant, including in February and June this year.

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Incident controller Mark Swiney told The Age that continued exposure to the smoke could affect people's health.

Acting deputy fire chief officer Ken Brown said the fire was particularly hard to put out because it has penetrated bales of recyclables.

But firefighters have so far been unable to get the blaze under control, admitting it could take as long as three days to extinguish. "It's a limited space area so that makes it hard to manoeuvre stuff around".

Four people have been taken to hospital and a further eight are treated for asthma symptoms since the fire began.

The Environment Protection Authority has declared air quality across the affected areas to be of "very poor" quality.

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