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‘A hell of a fire’ - More than 60 firefighters tackle recycling plant blaze

PUBLISHED: 09:46 19 August 2020 | UPDATED: 14:54 19 August 2020

Fire fighters at the fire at VC Cooke on the Ellough Industrial Estate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Fire fighters at the fire at VC Cooke on the Ellough Industrial Estate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2020

More than 60 firefighters have spent the night battling a blaze at a recycling plant.

Smoke from the fire behind the buildings at VC Cooke on the Ellough Industrial Estate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSmoke from the fire behind the buildings at VC Cooke on the Ellough Industrial Estate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A dozen fire crews went to the fire at the facility on Ellough Road near Beccles.

Crews got the call, to VC Cooke waste management, at just before 10.30pm on Tuesday, August 18.

Appliances from Beccles, Bungay, South Lowestoft, North Lowestoft and Southwold were among those sent to fight the flames.

Motorists have been advised that Beccles Southern Relief Road is closed for the time being.

Fire fighters at the fire at VC Cooke on the Ellough Industrial Estate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFire fighters at the fire at VC Cooke on the Ellough Industrial Estate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Crews were still at the scene this morning and expect to be there all day.

Watch commander Adrian Mason, from Woodbridge, said: “Crews were first called at 10.25pm last night. Local crews from Beccles and Lowestoft South attended and requested additional appliances when they arrived.

“The building itself is a three-sided shed containing refuse and machinery for sorting.

“The problem is because of how it is stacked, we are having to remove stacks of refuse from outside the shed before we can get into it.

Smoke from the fire behind the buildings at VC Cooke on the Ellough Industrial Estate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSmoke from the fire behind the buildings at VC Cooke on the Ellough Industrial Estate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“We have had assistance from the company with their diggers to help move burnt and unburnt materials.

“There are still four crews here helping. I’ve been here since 6.30am and we’ll be relieved by other crews at 10.30am.”

There were reports on Twitter of “big plumes of smoke” and “loud bangs” coming from the plant.

Dale Mickleburgh, owner of Epic Tools on the Moor Business Park nearby, said: “I live in Worlingham and we could smell the burning just before 11pm. The smell wandered over and blew down there.

Fire fighters at the fire at VC Cooke on the Ellough Industrial Estate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFire fighters at the fire at VC Cooke on the Ellough Industrial Estate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“About 11.15pm my wife saw on Facebook that there was a large fire near here so I jumped in the car and flew up.

“It was a bit of a sad scene with so many fire crews. It was really ablaze, there’s no two ways about it.

“There were huge plumes of smoke but the crews were very professional.

“I asked if there was any risk to the businesses over here but they said no.

“I felt for them because it was a refuse site and you never know what’s in there.”

Darren Bryant, owner of Premier Brickwork on the business park, said: “I came up last night after I heard about it just to check on things here and it was well alight.

“This is the first time I’ve known it to happen but it was a hell of a fire.

“It surprised me how many fire engines were here. I counted 19 different ones at different times, and crews from as far as Haverhill.”

More than 60 firefighters have been tackling a blaze at VC Cooke waste management on Ellough Road near Beccles. Picture: Reece Hanson.More than 60 firefighters have been tackling a blaze at VC Cooke waste management on Ellough Road near Beccles. Picture: Reece Hanson.

Steven Ward, branch assistant at neighbouring business Denmans electrical wholesaler, said: “It’s not really affected us, with the wind blowing across the town.”

More than 60 firefighters have been tackling a blaze at VC Cooke waste management on Ellough Road near Beccles. Picture: Reece Hanson.More than 60 firefighters have been tackling a blaze at VC Cooke waste management on Ellough Road near Beccles. Picture: Reece Hanson.


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