Factory fire gridlocks Woodbridge

WOODBRIDGE town centre was gridlocked when nearly 30 firefighters tackled a blaze at a furniture factory.Traffic ground to a halt when vehicles had to drive over hosepipes laid across the road from a hydrant and over the railway line to the Meregrove factory, Deben Road.

WOODBRIDGE town centre was gridlocked when nearly 30 firefighters tackled a blaze at a furniture factory.

Traffic ground to a halt when vehicles had to drive over hosepipes laid across the road from a hydrant and over the railway line to the Meregrove factory, Deben Road.

The factory is between the railway line and the River Deben and fire crews had difficulty in getting to the premises but they stopped the fire spreading through the factory.

The fire started just before 2.25pm and five crews from Ipswich and Woodbridge were called. A turntable ladder was needed and the fire service had the county's Fire and Emergency Plans vehicle as police officers directed nearby traffic.


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The fire could be seen by neighbouring boat businesses and Mike Illingworth, a director of Robertsons Boatyard, said: "There was smoke coming out of the end of the building and then from the apex of the roof there were flames which spread downwards. The fire had got hold."

One fire engine was parked in Lime Kiln Quay Road to take water from a hydrant and traffic built up towards Melton and Woodbridge railway station when vehicles slowed to negotiate the pipes.

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Ian Taylor, a divisional fire officer, said: "We do not know how the fire started and our investigations have begun. The difficulties for us have been with the access. This has not been insurmountable but we have a factory in a tight area which was not designed for heavy goods vehicles and that creates problems.

"There has been damage to the gable end of the building. The fire went between internal and external cladding and we had to strip part of that away."

Fire crews spent several hours damping down at the offices and workshops. Meregrove started in Woodbridge in 1981 and carries out wood furnishing processes for pine furniture at Sun Wharf.

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