Airport firefighters pulled back to back shifts to contain blaze

Emergency crews at Norwich Airport after a fire broke out in the roof of a hangar. Photo: Simon Finl

Emergency crews at Norwich Airport after a fire broke out in the roof of a hangar. Photo: Simon Finlay - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

Retained firefighters at Norwich International airport worked back-to-back shifts to contain the blaze in a hangar which threatened an airliner filled with thousands of litres of jet fuel.

Investigations are continuing into the cause of the fire which erupted in an Air Livery hangar on Sunday morning, battled at its height by 75 firefighters and 15 appliances.

The alarm was first raised at 9.43am by the Airport Fire Service – a team ready to respond instantly to any developing situation.

As crews rushed from around Norfolk, the airport team began tackling the flames – some remaining for three consecutive shifts.

Norfolk chief fire officer Roy Harold praised the dedication of the crews for their tireless work in preventing the fire from spreading.

'They spotted the fire themselves and began to tackle it while the other crews were en route, and that limited the spread from getting worse,' he said.

'Most of the Airport Fire Service are retained firefighters with Norfolk. That meant we had several firefighters who had been on duty at the airport when the fire started. They then finished their shift, came on duty as retained firefighters with Norfolk for the day shift, and came back again that evening with the airport team.

Most Read

'Some of them were at it pretty much all day long. It really helps us to know we have that support.'

One crew from Earlham remained on site with a watching brief yesterday, and airport services were not affected. 'Our investigators are on site working alongside the airport to pin down exactly what the cause of this fire was and whether there is anything we need to do differently,' added Mr Harold.

Incident commander Greg Preston said on Sunday the fire 'could have been a lot worse', but had 'no real risk of spreading' due to the rapid response.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter