There were no reported injuries (credit: Google Maps)
Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters were called to the scene in Creek Way at around 2.50am today.
Before they arrived, the the fire damaged part of a conveyor belt system and waste material. It then spread to a lorry and part of a vehicle bay.
An engineer from the centre noticed smoke coming from the refinement section and activated a sprinkler system to prevent it from spreading further.
Ten members of staff were evacuated and there were no reported injuries.
Firefighters then arrived at the scene. While wearing breathing apparatus, they used a thermal imaging camera to locate and extinguish the remaining areas of the fire.
They brought it under control by 4.50am. Crews from Wennington, Dagenham, Barking, Hornchurch, Eastham and Plaistow fire stations attended the scene.
Investigators believe the blaze was started accidentally by a possible “friction event” or by sparks from waste metal debris in the machinery.
“This fire highlights the clear benefits of having sprinkler systems installed,” said a London Fire Brigade spokesperson.
“In this case, the sprinkler system suppressed the fire and stopped it spreading across the recycling centre.
“Sprinklers can save lives and property, and also allow businesses to get back to normal as soon as possible by minimising disruption.”
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