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Tip fire sends thick smoke over suburbs

FIRE crews have finally left the scene of a large mattress fire that burned for more than four hours at a Wantirna South recycling tip yesterday.

Residents in the Knox area of Melbourne’s eastern suburbs  were urged to close windows and turn off air conditioning until crews put out the blaze at the Knox Transfer Station and Recycling Facility.

At least 18 units from the Country Fire Authority and Metropolitan Fire Brigade are still at the tip on George Street.

Authorities were called to the site about 4.30pm, following reports of thick black smoke and high flames.

The flames were brought under control about 9pm, but crews remained at the scene to complete a clean-up until 3am this morning.

CFA Operations officer Mark Kennedy said crews had to separate two huge piles of mattresses to extinguish the fire.


‘‘We also had some issues with water supply because the premises keeps very limited water on site,’’ Mr Kennedy told The Age last night.

‘‘The premises is some way from any houses. Even though there was a thick concentration of smoke, by the time it got to those houses, it posed little risk.’’ 

There were no injuries or reports of damage to neighbouring properties.

A VicRoads spokeswoman said traffic on EastLink and nearby roads was not disrupted.