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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 July, 2003, 11:14 GMT 12:14 UK
Driver's melted cheese blow-out
Burnt cheese
The cheese was slightly overdone
Several tonnes of cheese were toasted on Wednesday after a lorry carrying the load caught fire on the outskirts of a mid-Wales town.

The lorry, carrying 24 tonnes of blocks of cheese, was on its way from Ireland to a cold storage facility in Oswestry when it caught fire on the A44 road two miles east of Aberystwyth.

The driver escaped unhurt but the road was closed for seven hours while council workers cleared the smoked cheese from the lorry.

Firefighters attended the blaze at 0600BST on Wednesday but were too late to stop the cheese being burnt.

Amazingly there wasn't much of a smell, I suppose it must have been mild rather than mature cheese
Driver of the lorry

The consignment is believed to be worth about 50,000.

The driver, who did not wish to be named, said the fire had started within a couple of minutes of one of the lorry's rear tyres blowing out.

Welsh rarebit

"I heard the bang of the blow out, stopped the lorry and went to have a look," he said.

"I saw the fire starting but by the time I'd gone back to the cab to get the fire extinguisher the whole lot had started to go on fire.

"Amazingly there wasn't much of a smell, I suppose it must have been mild rather than mature cheese."

Firefighters using breathing apparatus and two hose reel jets put out the fire.

Council workers then started the job of unloading the consignment.

"I've had a lot of ribbing about being sent back to Fishguard to get a load of bread so I can make a huge Welsh rarebit," said the driver.

A Ceredigion County Council spokesman said the A44 would be re-opened by 1300BST.

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