Fire crews tackling massive blaze

FIREFIGTHERS from across north Essex are tackling a major blaze at a garage in Colchester.

James Hore

FIREFIGHTERS from across north Essex are tackling a major blaze in Colchester.

The fire, which started at about 6pm, began in a garage and scrapyard on Commerce Way on the town's Whitehall Industrial Estate.

Crews from Colchester were initially called out, but they have now been backed up, with a total of eights pumps at the scene along with Essex fire service's aerial ladder platform and a control vehicle.

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Police closed the road at the Grange Way and Commerce Way junction causing heavy traffic to build up throughout the Hythe area of the town.

The force's helicopter was also overhead and thick plumes of black smoke could be seen above Colchester.

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Nearby residents were advised to close doors and windows to keep the smoke and strong smell of burning rubber at bay.

Pete Ryland, of nearby Old Heath, told the EADT the flames had been reaching up to overhead power cables at one stage.

He said: “It is calming down now, but I know there are gas cylinders in there as they sell LPG so there will probably be an exclusion zone.

“It looks as though it is under control but there is a bit of traffic gridlock in the area now.

“I did not hear any explosions, but it looked quite dramatic.”

The cause of the blaze is not known at this stage. No-one is thought to have been injured.

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