WATCH: Explosions captured on cyclist’s GoPro during huge airfield fire
PUBLISHED: 15:38 14 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:55 14 August 2020
A devastating fire at Parham airfield which required more than 50 firefighters to tackle the blaze was captured on the GoPro of a passing cyclist.
The serious fire completely destroyed the building in Silverlace Green, with plumes of dark smoke billowing across parts of Suffolk for most of the day.
Rod MacFayden, who was visiting Suffolk on a family holiday, cycled through the area at around 10am when he saw the black smoke in the distance.
At first he thought it was tyres burning, but after getting closer he realised a low building was “already well alight”.
Mr MacFayden said: “Flames were coming out of the roof. There were popping noises and what looked like small explosions that scattered strips of materials.
“People, who I assumed might be workers from the unit, were on the field, retreating from the building as a long plume of thick black smoke was forming.
“A fire engine arrived and drove straight to the upwind end of the building, and I was impressed to see how close they were.
“There were a couple of explosions and gouts of flame. Traffic was beginning to accumulate on the road as people stopped to watch.”
50 firefighters from Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service tackled the fire and remained on scene until the early evening.
Police were forced to close nearby roads as a result.
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The owners of the site destroyed in the fire, Hatcher Components Ltd, said good Health and Safety practice and the actions of staff ensured no one was injured in the fire.
The company said it didn’t know how the fire started but confirmed that extensive damage has been caused to the site and an investigation has been launched.
Matt Herbert, managing director of Hatcher Components, said: “Our emergency procedures worked exceptionally well.
“I want to thank our staff for the way they responded to the incident.
“As a result, I am pleased to confirm all staff are safe and accounted for. Of course, I would also like to thank the emergency services for their response to the fire.”
Another witness at the scene said she had “never seen a fire like it”.
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