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Did a bonfire cause major blaze at West Raynham business park in which vehicles were destroyed?

PUBLISHED: 17:04 27 May 2015 | UPDATED: 17:04 27 May 2015

RAF Raynham. Picture Ben Dickson

RAF Raynham. Picture Ben Dickson

Archant

An out of control bonfire may have caused a blaze which took 11 fire crews three hours to put out.

RAF Raynham fire. Photo by Marcus StaffordRAF Raynham fire. Photo by Marcus Stafford

Smoke could be seen from as far as King’s Lynn and Holt on Tuesday night, as a recycling centre caught fire at the former West Raynham air base.

Crews had to use a turntable ladder and foam to bring the blaze under control, because the flames had spread to a vehicle compound and gas cylinders which were exploding.

Crews assessed and treated a man in his 40s who suffered minor burns what were described as “minor burns” to his hands and face.

He was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn for further care.

The fire is believed to have started when plastic material was placed on a bonfire.

Bob Ayers, King’s Lynn fire station manager said: “A number of vehicles including vans and diggers were totally destroyed by the fire.

“There were gas cylinders on the site but the biggest hazard was the vehicles and tyres on the site as well as plastic material on the site which was the cause of the massive plumes of smoke.

“We are on scene this morning to keep a watching eye over the site. We are unsure as to the cause of the fire at the moment as the man has been taken to hospital, but that is something we will be investigating this morning.”

Mr Ayers said his biggest fear was that the fire would spread to neighbouring businesses. One hangar close to the seat of the fire is currently filled with straw, while another nearby firm recycles ink cartridges.

An Environment Agency spokesman said the fiure had not pullted nearby water courses.

“We were called by the fire service who requested our attendance at the incident due to concerns about the run-off, she added.

“After an inspection, it was discovered the run-off went into a lagoon on the site and was heavily diluted. There is no discharge point in the lagoon so there is not believed to be any further risks to the environment.”

Emergency services were called at about 5pm after reports of a blaze in a car compound near Fakenham.

Thick black smoke could be seen rising hundreds of feet above the former RAF airbase and witnesses described hearing gas bottles exploding.

It is understood business-owners came together to help cut the park off from the public as a number of onlookers gathered to see the blaze, including families with children.

Web designer Ben Dickson, 32, from Castle Acre, described seeing the smoke coming from the back of the business park at about 5.05pm yesterday and called the emergency services.

He said: “A couple of employees went to the scene to check no one was in danger and I called the fire brigade. Afterwards I walked outside to film a video and could hear gas bottles exploding.”

Eleven fire pumps went to the scene, along with the East of England Ambulance Service.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said two cars, an ambulance and a volunteer on-call doctor were dispatched along with, three hazardous area response team vehicles were sent to the scene.

Did you see what happened? Email doug.faulkner@archant.co.uk


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