People are being warned about the dangers of disposing of waste incorrectly after a fire in a bin lorry.

It is thought that the blaze broke out in the Horsham bin lorry because of fairy lights which were put in a recycling bin.

The bin crews were able to control the fire with extinguishers and return to the depot in Worthing Road, Horsham, where the contents of the lorry were emptied.

The Argus: It is thought the blaze started because of fairy lights in the recycling binIt is thought the blaze started because of fairy lights in the recycling bin (Image: Horsham District Council)

West Sussex firefighters attended to make sure the flames were out.

The five-tonne recycling load had to be dumped as refuse after being doused to put out the fire, which happened on February 29.

Horsham district councillor Jay Mercer, cabinet member for environmental health, recycling and waste, said: “We are grateful that no one was hurt, and minimal damage was caused to the lorry on this occasion. This was mainly due to the quick thinking and brave efforts of our crew.

“Discarding batteries with recycling or refuse is particularly problematic as they present a fire risk when damaged.

“This sort of incident risks the safety of our crews, as well as taking firefighters from other urgent calls. Loose batteries can be easily recycled by placing them in a bag on your bin on collection day, and small electricals can be collected with our free bookable collection service.”