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Fire at recycling centre in Wretham, near Thetford will burn for several hours yet

PUBLISHED: 10:17 06 September 2017 | UPDATED: 11:07 06 September 2017

The fire service at the scene of the fire at the Viridor recycling centre at Wretham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The fire service at the scene of the fire at the Viridor recycling centre at Wretham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

A 600°C fire which took hold of a recycling plant in Norfolk overnight will still be burning for several hours, according to the firefighter in charge.

Greg Preston, Norfolk Fire and Rescue. Photo: Stuart AndersonGreg Preston, Norfolk Fire and Rescue. Photo: Stuart Anderson

Crews rushed to Viridor Recycling Centre on the A1075 Thetford Road in Wretham, near Thetford at 2.42am and were greeted with fierce flames.

Greg Preston, incident commander from Norfolk Fire and rescue said firefighters used power tools to cut through the building’s cladding and walls to gain access.

He said firefighters faced temperatures “in the hundreds of degrees” inside the building.

MORE: More than 90 fire fighters tackle huge 600°C blaze at Norfolk recycling plant

The fire service at the scene of the fire at the Viridor recycling centre at Wretham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe fire service at the scene of the fire at the Viridor recycling centre at Wretham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

He said: “It was very smoke-logged with high temperatures inside.

“Our crews arrived on the scene just after 2.40am to find a significant fire inside the waste processing area.”

Mr Preston said there was a large pile of waste on fire which had spread to the building itself.

He said: “We’ve been battling to contain the fire inside the building.

Fire a Virador recycling centre in Wretham. Photo: Ryan HancockFire a Virador recycling centre in Wretham. Photo: Ryan Hancock

“It’s going to be drawn out for some time because we need safe access into the building and to work in a controlled way.”

Mr Preston said there was some structural damage to the building itself.

He said firefighters were also working to ensure that they did not damage the nearby water course in extinguishing the blaze.

Mr Preston added: “We are working with our colleagues in the Environment Agency to make sure that the water we are putting on to the fire is being managed. A tanker is coming on site to remove that water so we don’t put it into the water course.”

He said there was no yet indication as to how the fire started. He said: “There will be a full investigation into the incident over the next few hours.”

At the fire’s height, 14 appliances were on the scene, including three from Suffolk. And Richard Smith, Norfolk Fire group manager, told BBC Radio Norfolk this morning temperatures reached 600°C.

A spokesman from Pennon Group, which owns Viridor, said there were no injuries.

Thetford Road was previously closed, but Norfolk Police tweeted at 5.19am to say it was clear, but to approach with caution.

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