Clean-up operation underway to remove burnt out coaches

Tuesday, 1st January 2019

THE clean-up operation is well underway at the site of Solus Coaches with the support of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and specialist recovery company, Crouch Recovery.

The blaze tore through the site on the afternoon of Saturday 29th December and plumes of smoke could be seen for miles, with readers reporting seeing the billowing smoke from Sutton Coldfield, Polesworth and Burntwood.

The investigation into the blaze, which destroyed eleven coaches in total began on Sunday 30th December and the recovery operation has been ongoing since Monday 31st December.

In video footage, released by Crouch Recovery, some of the fire damaged coaches have been towed away from the site whereas some of the more severely damaged vehicles have required lifting by a crane onto low loaders.

Andy Garrett, the owner of Solus Coaches spoke to Tamworth Informed on Saturday night and said: “I can confirm that we will be back up and running as normal within the next day or so.

“All holidays, School services and hires will still run as per scheduled bookings.”

At the peak of the blaze, there were around 20 firefighters and six fire appliances in attendance at the location from across the county and neighbouring West Midlands.

Our timeline of the events

13:52

www.tamworthinformed.co.uk

Dozens of messages have flooded into our inbox with concerns about large plumes of smoke around the area of Lichfield Road Industrial Estate.

14:58

www.tamworthinformed.co.uk

There are currently six fire appliances in attendance from both Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and West Midlands Fire Service, which are working to control the blaze.

This means that there are around 24 firefighters at the location and we wish them all luck and hope they remain safe.

Staffordshire crews have come from Tamworth, Lichfield, Rugeley and Barton-under-Needwood.

15:15

www.tamworthinformed.co.uk

Staffordshire Police have confirmed that the fire is at Solus Coaches and have asked the public to stay away from the area for their own safety.

16:35

www.tamworthinformed.co.uk

The fire is now under control and sadly a number of shells of burned out coaches can be seen. 

19:25

www.tamworthinformed.co.uk

The operation at the site has now been scaled back to two appliances and the investigation into the cause will commence at 9.00am tomorrow (Sunday), says Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

21:37

www.tamworthinformed.co.uk

Andy Garrett, the owner of Solus Coaches has told Tamworth Informed: “I can confirm that we will be back up and running as normal within the next day or so.

“All holidays, School services and hires will still run as per scheduled bookings.”

Our thoughts are with the owners of Solus Coaches, their neiggbours and all those employed at the locations, who this will undoubtedly affect.