A SECOND devastating fire has ripped through another recycling plant.

Up to 50 firefighters worked through the night to contain the massive blaze in Lancing as it took hold and flames soared into the night sky.

The first of more than 20 999 calls to the Rabbit Waste Management building in Chartwell Road, Lancing, was made at 1.15am on Sunday.

Firefighters battled to contain the fire to a large building measuring 85 metres by 35 metres containing more than 500 tonnes of wood chippings used for recycling.

At the height of the incident, ten fire engines, an aerial ladder platform, two bulk water carriers, and a high volume pump unit were in operation with crews from both West Sussex and East Sussex fire and rescue services on scene.

Residents have been reassured the smoke from the fire is not believed to have been toxic.


Rabbit Waste management is an eco waste firm which has been operating in the county for almost 30 years.

The firm opened the UK’s first privately-funded, biofuel waste incinerator in Lancing costing £15 million in 2008.

Its clients include Wild Life festival and the Brighton Marathon.

Mick Adams, managing director of Rabbit Waste management, said: “We can confirm a fire broke out in our facility in Lancing in the early hours of June 11.

“Nobody has been injured and the company’s emergency procedures were followed by onsite staff.

“The fire service attended and will continue to stay on site until they are satisfied that the fire is completely out and there is no chance of it reigniting.

“We would like to thank the fire service for their rapid response in bringing the fire under control.”

The blaze follows a similarly large scale operation to put out a fire at the Light Brothers’ scrap yard in Southerham, near Lewes, just a fortnight ago.

Senior fire staff are now calling for more joint working and preventative action to reduce the likelihood of a repeat scenarios elsewhere.

Following the blaze, Assistant Chief Fire Officer at East Sussex Fire and Rescue, Mark Andrews, tweeted: “@EastSussexFRS crews assisting @WestSussexFire with yet another major waste site fire. More prevention joint needed @EnvAgency.”

A West Sussex Fire and Rescue spokesman said: “The fire was attacked using ground monitors and jets with firefighters working hard to prevent the fire spreading to the rest of the building and plant room.

“Thanks to all the crews that attended for the way they tackled the fire to stop it spreading, and a special mention to our control operator colleagues for managing the busy mobilising and standby moves to help maintain fire cover across the county.”

The cause of the fire is still being investigated with an initial finding expected later today.