Sefton Council has warned residents to be cautious disposing of barbecues after a bin lorry fire on Southport’s coast road yesterday.

The driver was forced to eject the recycling load over the coast road to save the vehicle, causing road closures and diversions for several hours.

A spokesperson for Sefton Council said: “It appears that a resident had placed a “still warm” portable barbeque into the brown recycling bin, when tipped into the waste vehicle and mixed with the other recycling materials the load then become alight.

“Due to good diligence by the driver who saw the smoke, pulled over and promptly called the fire service, before ejecting the recycling load to reduce the risk of the fire within the vehicle and to help extinguish the fire.

“No damage was done to the vehicle and the driver is unharmed. A full incident report will be completed.

“We would like to remind our residents not to put disposable barbecues or hot coals in your recycling or rubbish bins because they can cause a fire inside our refuse collection vehicles. This also creates a risk to the safety of our collection crew.

“Disposable barbecues and hot coals can take up to 48 hours to fully cool. Please leave these items in a safe place to cool or soak them in water before you put them in your waste bin.”