Business destroyed in blaze drama

THE owners of a business on a Suffolk farm are picking up the pieces after a fire destroyed their workshop this afternoon.

Simon Tomlinson

THE owners of a business on a Suffolk farm are picking up the pieces after a fire destroyed their workshop this afternoon.

The blaze took hold at Sheep Drift Farm in Brightwell this afternoon and sent thick smoke billowing into the sky.

Firefighters from across the county tackled the fire from around 2pm in a corrugated metal outhouse, which was used for spray painting and sand blasting. The building also contained flammable paint and air compressors.


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There were several explosions within the building and crews could not enter the workshop until an EDF engineer arrived to shut off the electricity.

Four crews from Felixstowe, Woodbridge and Ipswich then used foam to cover the fire instead of water due to the flammable substances inside.

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They were also hampered by a trailer inside the building, which allowed pockets of fire to re-ignite while they battled the flames.

David Atkinson, assistant divisional officer for the Suffolk fire service, said: “We made sure the workers were out of the building and safe.

“The electricity was still on so there was a risk of electrocution until an engineer had isolated it for us. We put a blanket of foam over the flammable liquid to extinguish it.”

The fire was under control by around 4pm and crews remained at the scene to damp down hotspots and monitor the area.

Phil Balls, who owns the nearby Brightwell bus stop café, said: “A customer said there was a lot of black smoke billowing over the skyline. We went outside and saw lots of thick smoke.”

The workshop owners did not wish to comment on the incident.

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