Haverhill: Investigation launched after huge blaze at Boundary Road plastics factory
PUBLISHED: 17:53 12 March 2011
AN investigation is underway after a massive fire ripped through a Haverhill plastic factory today.
Fire crews were called to fight the blaze at Haverhill Mould and Tooling unit in Boundary Road, at 12.35pm.
The roof of the semi-detached building collapsed in the searing heat from the flames which gutted the building.
Richard Wood, temporary station manager at Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service’s Ipswich headquarters, said the fire seemed to have begun in oil drums outside the building, which was empty at the time of the blaze.
The fire then spread to the roof of the semi-detached building and kerosene stored inside the unit, which makes plastic injection moulds and tools, then caught light and added to the ferocious heat.
“This was quite a serious incident,” station manager Wood said. “By the time we arrived, it had spread to the eaves of the building and quickly took hold.”
As yet it is unclear if the fire was started deliberately.
Around 40 fire fighters from Haverhill, Clare, Wickhambrook, Ixworth, Withersfield and Linton as well as a turntable ladder from Colchester Road, Ipswich were all called to tackle the flames.
Residents living near the dramatic blaze were urged to keep windows and doors closed as plumes of acrid smoke billowed from the burning structure.
The Environment Agency and Anglia Water also visited the scene as kerosene inside the building entered the water course and drains.
Water jets were used to stop the fire spreading to the adjoining building.
Crews wearing breathing apparatus used a turntable ladder to fight the fire through the collapsed roof and managed to bring the flames under control by 3.30pm.
Fire fighters are still on the scene, damping down the property occupied by the plastics company which employs 12 people.