A fire broke out in an approved ELV processing centre at around 7:15 p.m., releasing thick black smoke. Ten people from neighbouring homes were evacuated, and road traffic was interrupted. The emergency rescue services responded to the accident at around 10:00 p.m. The fire was put out and traffic was reopened the following morning. A security guard remained on site over the next few days.


The site operates on 2 non-contiguous properties separated by a street. Only the northern part of the site was affected by the fire: the administrative offices were destroyed, along with the customer reception area and the 1,200-m² store containing spare parts recovered from the ELVs and intended for resale. The storage area for the non-decontaminated and decontaminated end-of-life vehicles, the tyres storage area and the decontamination area, located in the southern part of the site, were not affected.

The site’s activity was suspended for several months, and eight employees were laid off (technical unemployment).

The extinguishing water was passed through an oil separator, then removed and processed by a treatment plant. However, no containment system had been installed to collect all the water and any runoff that could become polluted during a fire. The operator was required to undertake the operations necessary to have the sludge and oil separator drained and cleaned.

As the roof of the administration building had collapsed, the pieces of fibrocement roofing panels containing asbestos contaminated the metal waste caused by the fire. The asbestos waste was sent to appropriate treatment facilities, after dismantling of the buildings by a company specialising in asbestos removal work (cost of operations: €210,000).

Causal analysis

The site was closed when the fire broke out, and nobody was present on site. The accident may have been caused by an electrical malfunction.