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Factory inferno 'not suspicious'

PUBLISHED: 12:02 12 July 2010 | UPDATED: 21:54 01 August 2010

Mark Boggis

FIREFIGHTERS from Lowestoft are still on the scene of one of the largest blazes to break out in the whole of Suffolk for many years.

The major blaze broke out at the Wessex Foods factory in Hadenham Road.

FIREFIGHTERS from Lowestoft are still on the scene of one of the largest blazes to break out in the whole of Suffolk for many years.

The major blaze broke out at the Wessex Foods factory in Hadenham Road just before 6.30pm last night (Sunday) - with huge plumes of smoke billowing out from the south Lowestoft industrial estate to engulf the town.

As of this 6.45am this morning (Monday), six crews were still “continuing to fight the fire” according to a spokesman for the fire service - while a spokesman for Lowestoft police added the blaze “was not thought to be suspicious.”

At the height of the inferno, 12 crews from across Suffolk and Norfolk battled the blaze with four other vehicles and associated equipment called in to help tackle the flames as more than 100 firefighters were involved.

The 50m by 70m single storey was engulfed in flames, with firefighters describing how most of the food processing factory “was involved in fire.”

Multiple main jets and monitors were used to beat back the blaze, and the dwindling water supply was supplemented from a local pond.

“Ammonia and very large nitrogen tanks had to be cooled, while other gas cylinders had to be removed from the danger area,” a spokesman for the fire service said.

Factories, stores and nearby units had to be evacuated while local residents were told to keep their windows shut as the huge plumes of black smoke engulfed the area.

A number of police officers were called to the scene as well to provide traffic control, with PCSO's and the special constabulary visiting nearby homes to inform locals to close their doors and windows.

And while this incident was ongoing, crews from Bungay and Orwell attended a “large gorse fire” in Corton Road, opposite Dip Farm in Lowestoft, just after 8.35pm last night.

Roads were closed while this blaze was tackled, eventually reopening at about 2am this morning, while a spokesman for the fire service said that the scene was eventually dealt with by 7.10am today.

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