Investigation begins after fierce blaze decimates derelict factory

Scenes on the morning after a fire at the former Grampians chicken factory in Attleborough. Picture:

Scenes on the morning after a fire at the former Grampians chicken factory in Attleborough. Picture: LAUREN DE BOISE - Credit: LAUREN DE BOISE

An investigation is under way after much of a former chicken factory was destroyed by fire.

Scenes on the morning after a fire at the former Grampians chicken factory in Attleborough. Picture:

Scenes on the morning after a fire at the former Grampians chicken factory in Attleborough. Picture: LAUREN DE BOISE - Credit: LAUREN DE BOISE

More than 60 firefighters were called to Attleborough on Wednesday evening as a fierce blaze broke out at the old Grampian Foods site.

A total of 14 crews from across the county were sent to tackle the “significant” fire, which was first reported at around 6.30pm.

Fire fighters at the scene of a fire at the former Grampians chicken factory in Attleborough last ni

Fire fighters at the scene of a fire at the former Grampians chicken factory in Attleborough last night Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

While parts of the building began to collapse, firefighters remained on scene overnight to check for hot spots and ensure the fire did not reignite.

There was a buzz of activity off Buckenham Road and White House Lane on Thursday morning, as police forensics teams and fire investigation officers looked to establish the cause of the blaze.

Dozens of firefighters are tackling a blaze at the former Grampian Foods chicken factory in Attlebor

Dozens of firefighters are tackling a blaze at the former Grampian Foods chicken factory in Attleborough. Pictrure: Matt Grey - Credit: Archant

Paul Seaman, incident commander and south Norfolk district manager, said: “We’ve had a presence through the night on scene just to make sure that we’re checking for hot spots and no escalation in the fire.


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“Today’s main activity will be around the investigation process which will involve both our fire investigation officers and the police scenes of crime officer.”

Scenes on the morning after a fire at the former Grampians chicken factory in Attleborough. Pictured

Scenes on the morning after a fire at the former Grampians chicken factory in Attleborough. Pictured is Paul Seaman, incident commander. Picture: LAUREN DE BOISE - Credit: LAUREN DE BOISE

Initial investigation efforts have, however, been hampered by potential dangers, with personnel from the Urban Search and Rescue Team on standby to ensure safety within the crumbling factory.

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“For our crews it’s one of those incidents that’s quite dangerous,” added Mr Seaman. “A disused building is obviously going to be in disrepair, so we have a number of risks that our crews faced last night - especially with a significantly developed fire in a property of this nature.

Fire fighters at the scene of a fire at the former Grampians chicken factory in Attleborough last ni

Fire fighters at the scene of a fire at the former Grampians chicken factory in Attleborough last night Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

“What might have to happen today is, for our fire investigation officers to thoroughly investigate, we might need to use our Urban Search and Rescue Teams to create a safe environment for them to work.”

Asked about the possibility of being trapped inside the derelict building, he said: “There’s no indication at all that anybody is inside.”

Scenes on the morning after a fire at the former Grampians chicken factory in Attleborough. Picture:

Scenes on the morning after a fire at the former Grampians chicken factory in Attleborough. Picture: LAUREN DE BOISE - Credit: LAUREN DE BOISE

The Grampian Foods site has been abandoned for several years but, in 2019, detailed proposals were submitted to build 165 homes on the land.

Developers Matthew Homes and Aberdeen-based Raemoir Properties secured outline planning permission back in 2017.

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