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Businesses count the cost of devastating blaze at Rackheath Industrial Estate

PUBLISHED: 13:39 04 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:54 04 March 2019

Norfolk Fire and Rescue were called back to the scene of a blaze at the Power Tool Services unit in Rackheath Industrial Estate, Norwich on Tuesday. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norfolk Fire and Rescue were called back to the scene of a blaze at the Power Tool Services unit in Rackheath Industrial Estate, Norwich on Tuesday. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

Businesses are today counting the cost of a devastating blaze which destroyed a premises at Rackheath Industrial Estate.

Firefighters at the blaze at Rackheath Industrial Estate. Picture: Neil DidsburyFirefighters at the blaze at Rackheath Industrial Estate. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Emergency services were called to Power Tool Services at Earl Road shortly after 9am on Sunday after a fire broke out at its unit.

More than 24 hours on and firefighters remain on scene as they continue to damp down the building, which has now partially collapsed.

A cordon is in place around the unit, as well as a neighbouring premises that belongs to Howarth Engineering.

Daniel Clements, general manager at Howarth Engineering, said the company’s unit appeared to have suffered smoke damage from the blaze.

The fire damage at the Power Tool Services unit in Rackheath Industrial Estate, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodThe fire damage at the Power Tool Services unit in Rackheath Industrial Estate, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

He said while the premises was mainly used for distribution and quality control, it also contained stock and measuring machinery.

Mr Clements said: “There is clearly smoke damage, but until we can get in there we will only be speculating.

“In all likelihood it will be a fairly large cost to the company.”

For most of Monday morning multiple businesses in the area were left without electricity after their supply was cut by UK Power Networks

Norfolk Fire and Rescue at the scene of a blaze at the Power Tool Services unit in Rackheath Industrial Estate, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodNorfolk Fire and Rescue at the scene of a blaze at the Power Tool Services unit in Rackheath Industrial Estate, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

A spokesman for SJB Service Centre, located opposite the fire-hit unit, said his building’s power had been out since Sunday, resulting in him sending staff home.

The spokesman said: “We are not happy because we have no power, no computers and our phones are down.

“We just have mobiles and you know what that [signal] is like around here.”

Electricity was eventually restored at about 11am on Monday.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue at the scene of a blaze at the Power Tool Services unit in Rackheath Industrial Estate, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodNorfolk Fire and Rescue at the scene of a blaze at the Power Tool Services unit in Rackheath Industrial Estate, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

At least six fire engines were on scene at the height of the blaze on Sunday.

A huge plume of smoke could be seen above the industrial estate from miles around as crews tried to bring the fire under control.

People living nearby were told to close their windows and a snooker club had to be evacuated.

The fire service said a crew was likely to remain on scene throughout the day to monitor the building.

The fire damage at the Power Tool Services unit in Rackheath Industrial Estate, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodThe fire damage at the Power Tool Services unit in Rackheath Industrial Estate, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Shortly before midday on Monday a small amount of smoke could still be seen coming from inside the premises.

Speaking at the scene on Sunday, King’s Lynn station manager Mac Mcleod said the cause of the fire was still a mystery.

He added: “The initial structure collapsed on itself. The property has been completely destroyed. The adjoining property next to it has been saved.”


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