Severe fire leads to brewery evacuation

STAFF at one of Suffolk's biggest breweries were evacuated last nightfollowing a severe fire in a boiler room.

Anthony Bond

STAFF at one of Suffolk's biggest breweries were evacuated this evening following a severe fire in a boiler room.

Fire crews were called to the Greene King brewery in Westgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, shortly after 8pm.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus had to battle with thick black smoke to enter the boiler room and extinguish the blaze before it spread to the rest of the building.

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Ken Williamson, group manager for Suffolk fire service, said: “It was very serious. It is a large boiler room with extremely large boilers and it was a severe fire in there in the early stages of us arriving. Our main effort was to contain it in the boiler room to stop it spreading into the rest of the complex.

“The conditions were extremely hazardous. It was very hot with lots of thick black smoke given off by burning fuels.”

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Five fire engines from Bury St Edmunds and Ixworth - including the turntable ladder - attended the scene. Police officers also closed off local roads.

All staff working at the brewery were evacuated and accounted for and nobody was injured.

Mr Williamson added: “Obviously there will be implications for Greene King but I believe they are sorting those out to get things back up to full production as soon as they can.”

A fire investigation will be carried out to find out the cause of the blaze. The fire service said it could have been caused by a malfunction within the boiler mechanism.

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