Video: Firefighters battle through night to control inferno

A MAJOR blaze saw more than 50 firefighters battling through the night to control a fire which destroyed a barn and the entire stock of cleaning products for a car valeting company.

Crews from Essex and Suffolk were called to the scene in Little Yeldham on the Suffolk/Essex border shortly after 8pm on Friday after residents spotted thick, acrid smoke pouring into the air above their homes.

Brian Webb, owner of Shine-on, which stores its products in the barn, arrived at the scene to see his business going up in flames.

He said: “I was out to dinner when I got a call.

“I could see the flames and smoke long before I got there so I knew it was going to be bad. It was total inferno when I arrived.

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“I’ve lost everything, we are going to have to build up from scratch again.”

Despite the carnage he said they would be back up and running by Thursday.

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One resident living nearby was forced to dowse the thatched roof to her house with a hose pipe to stop embers from the blaze setting fire to her property.

Madeline Turner, who took a video of the terrifying scene on her mobile phone, said: “The plume of smoke was massive.

“The chemicals inside were exploding and causing the fire to spread. It would have been catastrophic if the embers had got hold of my roof.”

A spokesman from Essex Fire said the blaze had already taken hold of the building when they arrived and the only option was to contain it.

Three crews from Colchester, two from Halstead, Sible Hedingham and Sudbury and one from Clare made sure the blaze was kept under control through the night until 11am the next day to ensure it was finally extinguished.

The spokesman said: “The 25 by 10 metre sized barn containing unknown chemicals car cleaning products and cylinders was 80% alight when we arrived. An investigation has now been launched into how the blaze started.”

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