Stay indoors advice lifted for industrial estate fire

People living near the scene of an fire in Renfrewshire have been told it is safe to go outside again.

Emergency services were called to the Enva electronic waste facility at Linwood since Sunday evening, when residents reported hearing loud explosions.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service had advised people to avoid the area and asked residents to close windows and doors.

There were no injuries reported from the incident.

Fire at the Enva waste facility in Linwood near Paisley
The fire started on Sunday night [BBC]

A spokesperson for SFRS said: "Five appliances are currently in attendance at the town's Burnbrae Road, with crews working to extinguish the fire.

"Local residents are asked where possible to avoid the vicinity, but no longer need to keep windows and doors closed and can now go outdoors."

An eyewitness previously told BBC Scotland News he first thought the explosions had been people letting off fireworks while Scotland were playing Hungary at Euro 2024.

He added: "Then we looked out the window and saw this huge plume of smoke just drifting over from Johnstone, Elderslie towards Paisley.

"I went outside, had a look and just saw that clearly something had gone on fire in a pretty major way.

"Then there was about thirty minutes of just near continuous explosions. It did sound like guns going off or fireworks or something like that."

View from Partick of smoke from the fire at a recycling centre in Paiskey
The view from Partick - more than seven miles away - of smoke from the fire [BBC]
View from Elderslie of the fire in Linwood
Smoke from the fire was visible in nearby areas like Elderslie [BBC]

A spokesperson for environment agency Sepa told BBC Scotland News that the regulator does yet know what caused the fire, and that it might not have been caused by a battery.

But they added: “We do know that many batteries contain hazardous materials and can present a fire hazard.

"The ubiquity of batteries in consumer electronics means they are often disposed of incorrectly.

"Keeping batteries out of residual and mixed recycling waste streams is an important fire prevention measure in itself."

Map of where the Linwood fire took place

Unions warned that they had "concerns" regarding facilities like the Enva site, and the materials being kept there.

Gus Sproul, the chairman of the Fire Brigades Union in Scotland said: "The FBU have concerns about the speed of the introduction of technology and the regulations around EVs, battery storage etc.

"These will be shared by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. We know that there are many hazardous materials contained in the kinds of devices stored at this facility, and that many of them are very challenging to extinguish when involved in a fire."

A previous fire at the Enva site took place in 2022.

A spokesperson for Enva said their Linwood general waste recycling facility was unaffected by the fire but would remain closed until the emergency services’ cordon was lifted.

Burnbrae Road remains closed at the Linclive Interchange while the cycle path behind the industrial estate is also shut.

The industrial area is less than four miles from Glasgow Airport. A spokesman said flights were not being affected by smoke from the fire.