Fire investigation reports revealed over Smallford and Potters Crouch blazes

PUBLISHED: 15:26 22 February 2013 | UPDATED: 15:26 22 February 2013

Huge pile of wood at the WRS site on Appsond Lane

Huge pile of wood at the WRS site on Appsond Lane


A FIRE investigation report has revealed a cigarette lighter may have started a major fire in Smallford last year.

Police have confirmed they are investigating the blaze which began at Glinwell Nursery in Hatfield Road just before lunchtime on Sunday, November 11, as arson.

The incident wreaked havoc across the district with fumes and a thick plume of black smoke travelling as far as Hatfield.

Hundreds of wooden pallets and plastic containers were ravaged by flames and are noted in the report as “responsible for the spread of the fire”.

A police spokesman said no-one had been arrested in connection with the investigation as yet, but anyone with information should get it touch.

He added that they believed a person or a group of people entered the site and set alight a large pile of plastic and wooden containers. But the fire service believes rubbish or waste material was set alight first.

n The fire in Appspond Lane, Potters Crouch, which broke out around 12 hours before the Smallford blaze, has been ruled as accidental through spontaneous combustion.

District commander Ian Markwell said the large wood pile at Wood Recycling Services (WRS) had not been “turned over” regularly which led to it heating up and combusting.

He explained: “If it [the pile] is not turned over fairly regularly, it can combust if it’s not regularly allowed to air.”

The Environment Agency (EA) served WRS several enforcement notices last year to reduce the amount of wood on site but these were not adhered to.

The EA is still investigating the incident.

More news stories


Religious groups in St Albans came together to discuss the possibility of peace between Israel and Palestine.


The headteacher of a school facing cuts in admissions has hit back at claims that the primary is less desirable than other establishments in the city.

Around 16,500 people enjoyed the Christmas lights switch-on in St Albans on Sunday.

All four lanes of the M25 anticlockwise between Junctions 25 and 27 are now closed after a multiple-vehicle crash.


Recently we, as a family (minus two of the kids), visited The Lodge RSPB reserve in Sandy, Bedfordshire. I had never been before, which is perhaps amiss of me as a birdwatcher as it is the headquarters of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds or RSPB and only 45 minutes drive from home.

Digital Edition

Read the The Herts Advertiser e-edition E-edition
Zoo Watch CountryPhile

Newsletter Sign Up

Herts Advertiser weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read stories

Show Job Lists

Herts Most Wanted Herts Business Awards