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Investigation to start into cause of inferno which ripped through Sackers in Great Blakenham

PUBLISHED: 06:00 16 September 2017 | UPDATED: 06:13 16 September 2017

The fire at Great Blakenham. Picture: GARY VIPOND

The fire at Great Blakenham. Picture: GARY VIPOND

Archant

An investigation will begin today into the cause of an inferno which tore through a Suffolk recycling centre.

Fire at Sackers in Great Blakenham. Picture: STEPHEN MEADOWSFire at Sackers in Great Blakenham. Picture: STEPHEN MEADOWS

Fire investigators will start work after more than 60 firefighters last night tackled a massive blaze at Sackers in Great Blakenham – with smoke and flames from the fire seen for miles around.

Drivers said they could see smoke plumes and bright orange flames from the A14.

Trains from Suffolk to London were stopped in both directions due to the fire’s proximity to the railway line.

Resident Nicholas Emerick, who watched the fire take hold close to his home last night, said: “It’s absolutely huge, this fire.

Huge fire at Great Blakenham recycling plant. Picture: STEPHEN MEADOWSHuge fire at Great Blakenham recycling plant. Picture: STEPHEN MEADOWS

“Everyone has been stood out here watching because it’s just so big and you keep hearing these explosions and really loud bangs from inside.

“The flames were as high as some of these houses.”

Crowds gathered to watch in nearby street Plummers Dell and neighbours looked on in shock as the blaze, which started in around 100 tonnes of scrap metal, roared on into the night.

More than 60 firefighters tackled the fire with a total of 18 pumps sent to the scene throughout the evening.

The massive fire at Sackers Recycling, Great Blakenham, last nightThe massive fire at Sackers Recycling, Great Blakenham, last night

Stephen Meadows was one of the first to alert the emergency services. He said: “It’s a massive fire, I’ve never seen anything like it here.

“We could see it from our window, the smoke is so thick and I reckon it can be seen for miles.

“I called the fire service about it and got told a lot of other people had also called it in. The police have cordoned off the road so the fire service can do their job.”

Speaking from the scene last night, area commander Ian Bowell of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said it is too early yet to determine what caused the blaze.

The massive blaze at Sackers Recycling, Great Blakenham, last nightThe massive blaze at Sackers Recycling, Great Blakenham, last night

He said: “We’ve got about eight crews here right now which is around 60 firefighters. We’ve got our aerial ladder platform (ALP) which is pouring water on the fire from above.

“There are some explosions happening from tyres inside the scrap heap but we want to reassure people that there is no threat to public safety.

“The fire is close to the housing estate but there is no risk and thankfully nobody has been injured.

“It is too early yet to establish a cause but we will be conducting a full investigation tomorrow in the daylight.

Sackers inferno from the sky. Picture: JAMES HAZELL/SKY CAM EASTSackers inferno from the sky. Picture: JAMES HAZELL/SKY CAM EAST

“We are working with colleagues from the police and Network Rail to respond to this emergency and hope to have it out relatively soon.”

Send your photos and videos to newsroom@archant.co.uk

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