The fire in a Bolloré Logistics building near Rouen is now contained

A major fire, which broke out on Monday afternoon in an industrial building rented by Bolloré Logistics containing some 8,000 lithium batteries and located in Grand-Couronne, south of Rouen, was ” limited ” at 11:30 p.m., a-t- we learned from the prefecture.

The fire at this site, which is not Seveso classified, and which had been evacuated at the end of the afternoon, did not cause any injuries and did not generate any dangerous pollution, according to this source.

“ At 11:30 p.m., the fire was confined to the two cells ” affected by the flames, one of which housed lithium batteries and the other tires, said the prefect of Seine-Maritime Pierre-André Durand in a press release. published overnight from Monday to Tuesday. ” Operations will continue until the residual outbreaks are completely extinguished ,” he said.

“ No restrictions on the movement of people have been put in place and all activities can take place this Tuesday as usual ,” he added. He had specified earlier that “ 137 firefighters were at work ” around 10 p.m., helped by 60 vehicles and “ tug boats which pump water to extinguish car batteries and foam to extinguish tires ”.

In the middle of the evening, a thick plume of smoke emanated from the two buildings of 6,000 m2 each which burned, according to an AFP photographer on the spot.

Turning winds but without pollution

The fire, which broke out at Bolloré Logistics around 4:30 p.m. according to the firefighters, then spread to a neighboring warehouse of the Districash containing ” about 70,000 tires “. The first residents are just over 500 meters from the burnt site, according to the prefect, who warns the population of “ winds which could turn during the night, with a possibility that the left bank of Rouen will be impacted by a smell of burning but always without risk, no evacuation, no containment ”.

However, the town of Orival, a few kilometers south of Grand-Couronne, asked its inhabitants on Facebook to “ stay confined, close the windows and do not go out under any circumstances ”. The prefect, however, assured that the SDIS had carried out air quality measurements which show ” no need for protection of the populations: the extinction of the hearth will take several hours but under the plume of smoke there is no danger, and no worries about pollution of the Seine ”.

According to Pierre-André Durand, ” the only chemical risk comes from the combustion of lithium which can release hydrofluoric acid, only in the heart of the hearth “, but this substance is ” not present outside the site ” .

Colonel Remy Weclawiak, deputy departmental director of SDIS76, present at his side, explained that ” the smoke left very high in the sky, there is a good dispersion and the readings near the site and a little outside did not find carbon monoxide, hydrochloric acid or hydrocyanic acid, the rates are zero ”. Remy Weclawiak could not give a figure as to the extent of the plume, which extends towards the southeast.

” No casualties are to be deplored, the employees were evacuated ” from this site ” subject to authorization and not Seveso ” on the banks of the Seine, still according to the prefecture. Contacted by AFP, the Bolloré said it had ” set up a crisis unit in conjunction with the prefecture “, specifying that it had ” no information on the causes of the fire ” at this stage . , nor on the extent of the damage. According to the logistics provider, the warehouse “ contained automotive components and lithium batteries. The site is subject to regulations on the storage of combustible products ”.