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Firefighters praised for containing blaze at Higham railway station building

PUBLISHED: 18:17 12 September 2016

Firefighters tackle the fire in buildings by the railway line at  Higham early on Saturday morning

Firefighters tackle the fire in buildings by the railway line at Higham early on Saturday morning

Archant

Firefighters were praised last night for stopping a fire that tore through a historic railway station building near Bury St Edmunds from spreading further.

Firefighters tackle the fire in buildings by the railway line at  Higham early on Saturday morningFirefighters tackle the fire in buildings by the railway line at Higham early on Saturday morning

It was “business as usual” on Monday for staff at Aran Services Ltd, whose headquarters is based at units 1-6 of The Old Station, in Higham, and whose offices were just two metres from the flames.

“Fire is thankfully a rare thing but when it occurs it’s obviously very disruptive,” said director John Whitefield.

“The fire brigade, I can’t thank them enough because they stopped the spread to any adjacent buildings.”

He said because of the firefighters’ efforts staff were back at work on Monday, after emergency services were called in the early hours of Saturday morning to the Victorian goods shed – used by Aran as a workshop.

A team of 60 firefighters contained the blaze.

On Sunday the company announced it had limited phone and IT systems but power had been restored to the site.

“The fire was contained to a single building with the main office being unaffected,” said the announcement.

“We thank you for your patience in advance and would like to reassure all our customers that the business will continue to operate as normal.

“Last but not least, a huge thanks to both Suffolk and Cambridgeshire fire and rescue for working hard to prevent the fire spreading further, saving the rest of the site.”

Mr Whitefield said he also wanted to thank the Salvation Army for their work catering after the fire and Network Rail and its contractors.

“We would like to thank Network Rail, who worked with us and obviously got the line back open as soon as possible, but also their [demolition] contractors for making the site safe to enable us to be back at work this morning. It’s business as usual.”

The clean-up area has been fenced off, which Mr Whitefield said was not having any detrimental impact on the business.

The affected building was so badly damaged it had to be demolished on Sunday to prevent it collapsing onto the busy Bury to Cambridge railway line.

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