THE owners of a landfill site which was damaged in a fire spanning 500 metres have said the cause of the blaze remains “unknown”.

Fire crews remain at the scene of the Bellhouse landfill site in Warren Lane, Stanway, after a member of the public raised the alarm at around 4.48am.

Firefighters found around 500 metres of rubbish was ablaze, with smoke billowing up from the scene.

The fire has now been brought under control, but crews remain at the site to dampen down the area.

Follow live updates: Stanway landfill fire causes heavy smoke live updates

Mark Silvester, chief executive of Enovert, which owns the site, said: "A member of the public reported an incident of fire at our Bellhouse site in Stanway, Colchester at around 5am this morning.

"Enovert’s staff are assisting Essex Fire and Rescue Service who have worked to rapidly bring the fire under control, and who continue to dampen down the area as a precautionary measure whilst we assess the damage and possible cause which is unknown at this time.

"The fire occurred on the surface of the sites operating area where non-hazardous wastes are deposited, we have notified the Environment Agency of the incident.

"Enovert is grateful to Essex Fire and Rescue for attending the incident and to the member of the public who reported the incident."