Cause of inferno on Hadleigh’s Lady Lane industrial estate still unknown

Fire at Lady Lane Industrial Estate, Hadleigh

Fire at Lady Lane Industrial Estate, Hadleigh - Credit: Archant

Mystery still surrounds the devastating fire which destroyed the premises of a Hadleigh business three weeks ago.

The building on Lady Lane industrial estate used by Challs International Ltd and Primo Manufacturing Ltd went up in flames on the morning of October 28.

At least 70 firefighters tackled the blaze but managing director Graham Burchell said he is yet to find out how the inferno started.

“They haven’t determined a final cause at this stage,” he said. “The team employed by the insurance company is still carrying out its investigations.”

One of the reasons a cause hasn’t been established is because parts of what is left of the building are now dangerous meaning investigators can’t yet access them.

“Parts of the building are still unsafe. We are now looking at planning the demolition of the building which will give the team another opportunity to investigate,” Mr Burchell added.

Despite the current uncertainty it is not thought arson played a part in the blaze, although Mr Burchell said nothing had been categorically ruled out.

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He also said the business was now back on its feet and recovering well thanks to “a very strong team which has worked very hard to turn the business around” and had not lost any business as a result of the fire.

But things might have been different had staff not been vigilant when backing up computer files.

According to Mr Burchell other businesses have lost so much data in similar disasters they have struggled to continue.

“The advice I would give to any other company is to check you can recover your data,” he said. “That is probably what can cost you and bring down the business in this situation.

“We had backed up all our data off site but there were a few difficulties and that was a worry.

“Businesses that lose that have a higher chance of failure.”

The fire will end up costing the business more than £1million and it is not expected to be in new premises built on the site of the old building for around 18 months.

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