A Hitchin recycling centre has finally spoken after a second fire in as many months at the site.

Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to the Nationwide Metal Centre in Cadwell Lane at 11.50pm on February 7 following reports of a fire.

Six fire engines and an aerial ladder platform attended the scene, with crews working until the early hours of the morning to put the fire out.

It was the second fire at the site in less than two months, following a blaze on the night of Monday, December 11.

Despite The Comet's efforts to reach the Nationwide Metal Centre, no response was received, but now the business has published a statement regarding the fire on their Facebook page.

"Nationwide Metal Recycling Ltd would like to clarify and update the situation following the fire at our Hitchin premises just before midnight on February 7," it reads.

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"The fire was not caused by our scrap metal processing system but instead originated in the storage area for small domestic appliances.

"This is material such as battery operated hoovers, electric scooters which, whilst safe in their correct use, if damaged can be subject to spontaneous fire.

"The most likely cause of the fire was a compromised lithium ion battery which, other than in this specific waste stream, we do not accept at our site in Hitchin.

"We do not purchase these products and act only as a holding facility for material received from recycling centres across Hertfordshire and elsewhere in the region, on behalf of the producers and manufacturers of this equipment who are obliged to fund its treatment.

"Nationwide Metal Recycling Ltd have worked very closely with Hertfordshire County Council, the Environment Agency and Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Services to identify ways of working to provide a better environment for our employees and our neighbours and will continue to do so.

"We would like to provide reassurance that all aspects of our business are in full compliance with the relevant regulations and permit requirements for our operations and we can confirm that, as a direct result of the fire, we have immediately ceased accepting the material at our Hitchin depot."