FIREFIGHTERS worked through the night to remove rotting herbs from a lorry which was reported to be on fire in Lye.

Crews from Stourbridge and Haden Cross fire stations were called out at 6.21pm to Wood Street to reports of a lorry on fire.

But on arrival firefighters discovered a 40-foot articulated trailer packed with rotting coriander and mint in polystyrene was overheating.

Stourbridge News: Pic - @StourbridgefirePic - @Stourbridgefire

A spokesman for West Midlands Fire Service explained: "Vegetation creates its own heat, so it was heating up as it decomposed."

He said it was no doubt an "unpleasant" call out for the crews who removed large quantities of pallets from the trailer which was detached from the lorry cab.

After damping down they returned to the scene throughout the night, at 10.30pm and 5.30am, to make sure the material did not ignite; and after the final visit Dudley Council's highways team was requested to clear the road.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, Dudley Council's cabinet member for environmental, highways and street services, said: “This is an unusual situation and the road will remain closed while we clear up the boxes of coriander and mint removed from the lorry.

"This is likely to take some time, but we aim to be able to wash down the road tomorrow morning and reopen it by lunchtime.”

The council will be recharging the transporter company for the clean-up work.

It is not known where the consignment had been heading for.