Fire hits print centre

MARK NICHOLLS Fire broke out earlier this evening at the centre where the Eastern Daily Press is printed.Production was halted at the Archant Print Centre on the outskirts of Norwich just before 9pm after fire erupted in one of the six print towers within the building at Thorpe St Andrew.

MARK NICHOLLS

Fire broke out earlier this evening at the centre where the Eastern Daily Press is printed.

Production was halted at the Archant Print Centre on the outskirts of Norwich just before 9pm after fire erupted in one of the six print towers within the building at Thorpe St Andrew.

Speaking from the scene, Archant Print managing director Nick Schiller said: “The guys did exactly as they should have done. They looked at the size of the fire and realised it was too big for them to tackle so they left the building and called in the professionals.”

Two fire appliances were quickly on the scene followed by two more after crews called for back up.

Mr Schiller said there were up to 35 people evacuated from the building after the alarms sounded. It is not believed anyone was injured in the fire.

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“We do not know what the cause is at the moment and we believe the damage is isolated, though there is water and smoke damage associated with the fire.”

Throughout the evening a contingency plan swung into operation to make arrangements to print the Eastern Daily Press and the Ipswich-based East Anglian Daily Times at other print establishments.

Norfolk fire brigade group manager Greg Preston said the fire started on the first floor of the print tower and spread, activating a sprinkler system in the building.

Fire fighters wearing breathing apparatus went in to tackle the blaze, amid extensive smoke logging in the building.

Soon after the flames were put out at about 9.30pm, Mr Preston explained: “We are still trying to establish whether we have any more 'hot spots' or whether we have got it under control. It has been difficult because the fire was inside the machinery.”