Video: Fire crews still at scene of huge blaze
ALMOST 100 firefighters from across Suffolk were today still tackling a huge blaze at the site of a meat factory.
The inferno broke out Wessex Foods factory in Hadenham Road in Lowestoft at around 5pm yesterday and six crews were still at the scene this morning battling the flames.
A spokesman for the fire brigade said the fire is still burning throughout the centre of the factory.
Reports suggest it could go on for another 24 hours.
Fifteen fire crews from across the county were originally called to help fight the flames which had taken hold of the single-storey meat production factory.
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The crews were called from all over the county, including Lowestoft South, North Lowestoft, Princes Street in Ipswich, Colchester Road in Ipswich, Beccles, Southwold, Haverhill, Leiston, Saxmundham, Eye, Orford, Elmswell, Yarmouth, Halesworth and Harleston in Norfolk.
Firefighter Gary Phillips, assistant chief fire officer, said it was a very “severe” fire. He said it was too dangerous to fight it from the inside.
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He believed the fire started in some chilling units, sending large plumes of smoke into the sky. “We have got no officers inside the building, we are fighting it from the outside which makes fighting it very difficult.
“It is probably the biggest fire in Suffolk for some time and it is one of the most difficult we have had to fight for some time.
“It is very difficult and very hazardous and we have safety crews set up. The firefighters are working magnificently.”
Eyewitness James Scott, 44, said last night: “When I went up there the police had just arrived and had started to close the area of and there was a plume of black smoke.
“The whole place is going to be a complete write-off and completely gutted. All the offices at the front have gone as well as the warehouse at the back. It is basically the whole factory.
“There are gas canisters and all sorts of explosions and I keep hearing a few loud bangs.”
Wessex Foods is based in Lowestoft and employs 150 people. It is part of the Irish Food Processors Group and produces fresh and frozen products, including burgers, steaks, mince and steaks.