Firefighters spend third day battling Braintree unit fire

Firefighters are still attending a blaze at an industrial unit on Convent Lane in Braintree

Firefighters are still attending a blaze at an industrial unit on Convent Lane in Braintree - Credit: Essex Fire and Rescue

An operation to extinguish an industrial unit fire has rolled into a third day as recyclable material remains alight.

Essex Fire and Rescue Service crews were first called to the unit in Convent Lane, Braintree, at lunchtime on New Year's Eve and remain at the scene on Sunday.

A spokesman for Essex fire service said: "Three crews are in attendance and are continuing to work to fully extinguish the fire. A digger is being used to move materials and assist in crews dampening down."

 

A massive plume of smoke dominated skies around Braintree

A massive plume of smoke dominated the skies around Braintree - Credit: Essex Fire and Rescue

On Friday afternoon crews arriving at the scene reported that an industrial unit measuring approximately 60 metres by 20 metres was completely engulfed in flame. 

Firefighters battling the industrial unit fire on New Years Eve

Firefighters battling the industrial unit fire on New Years Eve - Credit: Essex Fire and Rescue

Initially, six crews were requested, including from Witham, Colchester, Chelmsford, Halstead, Corringham and Hawkwell. 

These were supplemented by additional crews from Dunmow, Ongar and Manningtree.

The fire service warned locals to keep their doors and windows closed while they tackled the blaze as large amounts of smoke was being produced.

Firefighters used a digger to remove burning material from the industrial unit so they could extinguish it outside.

Firefighters used a digger to remove burning material from the industrial unit so they could extinguish it outside. - Credit: Essex Fire and Rescue

On New Year's Day, the smoke warning remained in place as three engines remained on scene while the fire was properly extinguished. 

A spokesman said: "The unit has a large amount of recyclable material in it— a real range of stuff, including cardboard. 

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"We are going in, pulling that material out, and extinguishing it outside. We are using a digger to remove the material from the warehouse and break it up so that it’s easier to fully extinguish.

A surfactant pool was in use, which uses a solution to help water penetrate faster into burning debris

A surfactant pool was in use, which uses a solution to help water penetrate faster into burning debris - Credit: Suffolk Fire and Rescue

"You’ll notice a paddling pool type thing in one of the pictures. It’s a dam containing a “surfactant” – a solution that helps the water to penetrate into burning material faster."

Later that evening, Station Manager Richie Green added: "Firefighters have worked really hard since this incident started more than 30 hours ago and they have done a brilliant job to get is safely under control.

"95% of the fire is now extinguished but, due to the condition of the building, we will continue firefighting operations in the morning.

"Smoke is still coming from the site so please keep your doors and windows closed."

On Sunday afternoon, crews were still at the scene.

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