Maldon: Firefighters praised after factory blaze drama

FIREFIGHTERS have been praised for their swift action in tackling a blaze which broke out in an industrial lighting factory.

More than 30 firefighters and five fire engines were called to a fire at Taylor Constructions Limited in Bates Road, Maldon just after 7am yesterday.

An investigation by Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is now under way as to how the fire started and officers have not ruled out the possibility of arson.

Initially three crews were sent to the incident and on arrival they discovered that about 50% of the first floor of the two-storey building was burning.

Station officer Lee Lucas, the incident commander, called in back up including two extra fire engines, a specialist hazmat officer with technical knowledge of chemicals, and an aerial ladder platform.

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Crews surrounded the building and made steady progress putting out the fire using two jets and one ground monitor, as well as the aerial ladder platform.

The electricity board was asked to attend to isolate supplies to the building.

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Mr Lucas said: “Crews worked brilliantly and quickly to protect surrounding risks and their swift action meant we were able to contain the blaze to the building where it started.”

He said that after an hour of tackling the blaze they had it under control and sent firefighters wearing breathing apparatus into the building to extinguish a series of small fires still inside. “There were no chemicals involved in the incident but a hazmat officer was asked to attend to ensure that gases coming from industrial bulbs posed no risk to crews,” he added.

The additional fire crews arrived at 10.30am to relieve the firefighters who had been tackling the blaze since the early morning and by noon it was reported that they were turning over the remains and damping down to make sure the area was safe.

The fire service had left the scene by 3pm, but a crew returned at 4pm to make sure there were no remaining hotspots.

The incident was attended by crews from Maldon, Witham, Tiptree, South Woodham and Chelmsford.

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