'They looked like smurfs' – firefighters and pets left covered in blue ink in wake of fire
PUBLISHED: 14:42 01 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:09 02 February 2019
This cat was spotted entirely blue in Clacton. Picture: TERRY OLIVER
There is a blue tinge in the air in a corner of Clacton this week as blue ink powder was blown around a street, covering pets, cars and even residents.
The drama started on Tuesday when a fire broke out in Coppins Road involving a boat and a shed - and eight sacks full of blue ink which had been stored in the shed.
Firefighters were called at 8.54pm and had extinguished the flames by 10pm but crews had to call in back up because of the powder.
A spokesman for Essex County Fire & Rescue Service said: “Due to the presence of the ink powder, crews requested the attendance of environmental health.
“The powder was confirmed to be non-hazardous by scientific advisors, but due to it’s composition, it would continue to smoulder for some days. “Firefighters dug a trench around the affected area of leaked powder and filled it with sand to protect the area.”
The fire may have burnt out but the ink powder has been whipped about by the wind and is still posing a problem for neighbours.
Chrissie Augrandjean, who is a dog walker in the area, said: “I dog walk for a woman who lives opposite.
“When I went to her house on Wednesday, all three of her dogs were tinted blue, and her two white cats were covered. The blue was also on most of her sofas and clothing, and there was some in her hair.
“A firefighter told me I should wash the dogs just to be safe.”
Linda Mclean, from Clacton, was also surprised to find her cat looking a little blue.
She said: “Both my cats and dogs are blue, I think it’s from a fire in Coppins Road where a canister of blue printer ink solvent exploded. Apparently all the firemen looked like smurfs!”
Jasmine Shafey Rawlins posted on Facebook: “I’m in Branston Road and my rabbits who have been in the garden are blue, I’m freaking out. We’ve tried to scrub it off our bunnies but no luck.”
The fire happened at the home of Kazmira Juckiewicz parents. She posted on Facebook: “It is totally harmless and comes off with a good wash, it’s just inconvenient and a nuisance. My parents are fine but we are not sure how the fire started.”
Essex fire revisited the incident over the following days to check it was still safe. The incident was left in the care of the owners and Environmental Health.
A Tendring District Council spokesman said: “Following a report from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, the council is undertaking investigations in relation to this incident.
“This involves seeking advice in relation to some of the key ingredients of the material to determine what further actions are required. Once this information has been received it should be possible to identify how to deal with the material which would include removing it from the site.
“We will continue to work closely with our partners, including the Environment Agency who are aware of this incident, and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.”