Fire at Geri recycling plant sparks anger

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Another fire that broke out early on Friday at a metals recycling plant in the Geri industrial area has been brought under control by firefighters, but residents are angry.

The latest fire has caused fierce reactions from residents, as this was the second time a fire had started at a recycling plant in the area in the past three months and the third in two years.

Local authorities have already spoken out, calling on the government to intervene as such incidents are frequent in the industrial area.

“The fact that the fire was promptly dealt with is due to measures put in place following a previous fire at the same plant,” Geri Mayor Neophytos Papalazarou told state radio CyBC.

The mayor referred to a fire in 2021 at the same plant.

Posting on X, the fire service spokesperson Andreas Kettis confirmed Friday’s fire had been brought under control and that personnel remain onsite to guard against flare-ups.

He said the fire started at 05.40, with the service dispatching four vehicles while calling in further reinforcements from stations in the capital and Larnaca.

It is believed the fire started at a car parts recycling site from sparks caused during work on recyclable vehicles.

“It was established that the fire started during the work being done in the sorting area of recyclable vehicles.

“It seems that during the work carried out by an employee of the company with a special vehicle that deals with the movement of recyclable materials, sparks were caused which, in combination with liquids or other flammable substances present in the old vehicles, caused the fire,” said Kettis.

Geri residents witnessed a huge blaze that had broken out in July at another recycling plant.

Mayor Papalazarou said that just last week, he had visited the facility along with the fire service and inspectors from the Environment Department.

He renewed a longstanding call for a definitive solution for repeated incidents of fire and industrial pollution in the community.

“All factory owners in the industrial area have been contacted, and residents’ concerns have been explained”.

Papalazarou said the community had urged authorities to boost preventative measures and the speed of response of fire services.