A FIRE BROKE out at BLM British Lead’s manufacturing facility on Peartree Lane in Welwyn Garden City yesterday lunchtime, on 16 February 2021.
The facility refines scrap lead for resale. Over 85 people work at the site, although currently a proportion of them work from home due to the pandemic.
Ten fire engines, police and ‘specialist support units’ attended the blaze, asking local people to avoid the area. A spokesperson for Hertfordshire Fire Service said over 50 firefighters worked “incredibly hard to tackle a technically difficult fire.”
BLM British Lead Statement
Today BLM British Lead issued a statement to assure the roofing industry that production of lead will be unaffected:
“Yesterday afternoon at British Lead Mills, a fire occurred and was contained in the baghouse on the periphery of our facility. We are pleased to report that all of our employees were accounted for and no one was injured, and also that the rest of the equipment and the remainder of the facility have not been damaged or impacted. Our emergency response plan was immediately activated, and we are grateful to the emergency services for their effective response.
“While the area of the plant serviced by the baghouse will remain closed for repairs, our main business remains unimpacted by the interruption and the plant has resumed normal operations today with all employees returning to work.”
Cause of the BLM fire
The fire started in the site’s ‘Baghouse’ where emissions are filtered from the lead casting and rolling process which involves smelting at temperatures up to 4500.
The Baghouse was a brand new facility completed in April 2020. It was designed to reduce emissions extracted from the fumes and smoke created by lead processing.
Investigations have started into how the fire began but are at an early stage. BLM British Lead expects to know more about the causes of the fire next week.