‘Fly-tip’ under investigation was actually left from van fire

Bristol City Council said it is investigating an allegation of fly-tipping today – but the mess on a main road in Southmead that shocked passers-by was actually left behind from a van fire.

A huge pile of what looked to be rubbish was photographed left on the side of Monks Park Road between Southmead and Horfield over and complaints were made to council chiefs over the weekend about it.

Photos of the long line of stuff piled up on the side of the road sparked fury on social media, with councillors pledging an investigation.

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And on Monday afternoon, Bristol Waste said the council had cleared the site and begun an investigation into what appeared to be a case of brazen flytipping along a residential road.

But Bristol Live can confirm that what is now being investigated as a case of fly-tipping on Monks Park Avenue was actually the result of a van fire that happened on Friday afternoon.

Firefighters found a van well alight at around 4pm on Friday, and realised it was packed full of stuff that could still be smouldering away, after they put out the initial fire. So the firefighters from Southmead and Patchway fire stations carefully unloaded the van, making sure none of it was on fire, before a tow truck took the van itself away.

A spokesperson for Avon Fire and Rescue Service explained what happened.

“Crews from Southmead and Patchway were called at 16.03 on Friday 14 January to reports of a van fire on Monks Park Avenue, Horfield,” she said.

A van load of stuff left on the side of the road in Southmead following a fire
(Image: Keep Bristol Tidy/Twitter)

“On arrival, crews found a van full of household waste well alight. Firefighters used two high pressure hose reels and two thermal imaging cameras to extinguish the blaze, one firefighter wore breathing apparatus for safety.

“Crews removed material from the van to the side of the road to ensure the fire was extinguished within the vehicle.

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“Once made safe, the scene, and material, was left in the hands of police and council colleagues. The cause of the fire has been determined as accidental,” she added.

The next day, the stuff was still there, piled up on the side of the road, and attracted the attention of local residents, and pictures were tweeted by the Keep Bristol Tidy account on Twitter, sparking outrage that someone could flytip.

Bristol Waste tweet reply to allegation of flytipping in Southmead
Bristol Waste tweet reply to allegation of flytipping in Southmead
(Image: Bristol Live/Twitter)

The communication that the stuff had been left as the result of a van fire hadn’t reached council chiefs, as by Monday lunchtime, Bristol Waste tweeted that an investigation was underway into what happened.

“A crew has visited the site and the area is now clear,” said a spokesperson for the council-owned waste firm. “Bristol City Council are investigating the incident. As well as being unsightly and dangerous, fly-tipping is a criminal offence. We encourage residents to continue to report illegal dumping and provide any details on where the waste has come from so that the council’s Neighbourhood Enforcement team can take appropriate action against offenders,” they added.

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