Suur-Sõjamäe fire finally extinguished on Wednesday

The aftermath of the fire at Tallinn's Suur-Sõjamäe.
The aftermath of the fire at Tallinn's Suur-Sõjamäe. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The major fire, which broke out at a waste management center in Tallinn on Tuesday was finally extinguished on Thursday afternoon. Investigations are not set to begin to establish the cause of the fire and assess the extent of the pollution it produced.

Estonian Rescue Board (Päästeamet)  spokesperson Liina Valner told ERR, that the fire had finally been extinguished by rescue workers at 2.43 p.m. on Thursday.

Assessments of the pollution levels in the area are still being conducted the Environmental Board, particularly as water used to put out the fire mixed with oil and other hazardous materials before flowing into nearby ditches.

The Environmental Board has also opened a criminal investigation regarding the environmental pollution caused by the fire.

Valner said that action taken by rescue workers to safeguard the adjacent buildings, went a long way toward reducing the damage caused to the nearby packaging center building as well as other premises in the vicinity.

On Thursday morning, Leho Lemsalu, head of the Rescue Board's preparedness department, said on ETV's "Terevisioon," that as of Wednesday evening, more than 40 rescue service vehicles and teams from across Estonia had been involved in the response to the incident.

At 11 a.m. on Thursday, the site was still being cleared and collapsed material being hosed down. Representatives of the adjacent packaging center have now been allowed back into the building with work already having been begun by the Rescue Board and the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA).  The Rescue Board will also return to the scene to continue its work on Friday.

On Tuesday afternoon, a hazardous waste management center on Tallinn's Suur-Sõjamäe tänav caught fire. The blaze then spread to adjacent buildings, with smoke from the incident visible throughout the city. The Estonian Rescue Board (Päästeamet) recommended locals within a 3 kilometer radius keep their windows and doors closed and avoid outdoor movement due to the toxicity of the smoke.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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