Video: No suspicious circumstances in Martham mushroom farm blaze

Martham barn fire. Picture: James Taylor Photographic Martham barn fire. Picture: James Taylor Photographic

Sunday, March 23, 2014
11:12 AM

An investigation into a fire that ripped through a former mushroom farm has revealed there are no suspicious circumstances behind the blaze.

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A former Mushroom factory is devastated by fire.A former Mushroom factory is devastated by fire.

Ten fire crews were sent to the site, off White Street in Martham at around 4.30pm on Friday.

At the height of the blaze around 100 firefighters were on scene, battling to contain the blaze, which has devastated buildings on the large plot.

Crews from Acle, Great Yarmouth, Gorleston, Stalham, North Walsham and Hethersett plus two water carriers, an environment protection unit and a control unit attended the blaze.

They battled the flames into the evening, keeping a watching brief overnight and damping down hot spots yesterday morning.

A former Mushroom factory is devastated by fire.
Owner Bob Spinks, looking at the damage caused by the Fire.A former Mushroom factory is devastated by fire. Owner Bob Spinks, looking at the damage caused by the Fire.

The fire service said today that an investigation at the site has shown there to be no suspicious circumstances.

Several residents in Bradfield Drive were evacuated from their homes on Friday evening due to concerns over canisters on the site, and a 100 metre cordon was put in place around the disused buildings.

A handful of residents were sent to a temporary rest centre at the village community centre in Rollesby Road, but all were allowed back in their homes by 10.30pm.

Mark Johnson, watch manager at Martham said the brigade’s priority had been to contain the blaze, which involved several buildings, propane cylinders and asbestos.

“It spread from one building to a complex of barns and rapidly went through those, so our main priorities were to protect the housing estate on Bradfield Drive,” he said.

“There was asbestos and they’re quite old, disused buildings as well so structurally they were unsound. While there was no rescue to do we wouldn’t commit personal into unsafe structures.

“We were just containing the fire.”

He added: “There were cylinders involved so residents were moved but were allowed back once we knew the cylinders were no longer a danger.”

The fire comes just a few weeks after another fire at the same disused barn when 100 bales of hay went up in flames.

During that incident, on January 29, firefighters and police were called out at 11pm.

The blaze was brought under control but, due to the size of the hay bales, fire officers decided that letting them burn out would be the most appropriate course of action.

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