Update: cause of farm fire at Emneth, near Wisbech, may never be known

Remains of potato stores 'too dangerous' for further investigations

The cause of a Fenland fire which destroyed agricultural buildings may never be known.

Fire investigators have decided the remains of the potato stores at the Emneth farm are too dangerous for further work to be carried out.

A spokesman for Norfolk's fire service said the cause would be recorded as 'unknown' which was standard when a site was not safe for investigations to continue.

Fire crews spent four hours battling the blaze in the two farm buildings at Midfarrows Farm on Wednesday night.

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The buildings were reported to be alight at 12.40am and at its height up to ten crews were on the scene in Walsoken Road.

Lynn station manager Tim Edwards said life was made difficult for the fire fighters because the hydrant near the site was not pushing out enough water to help them extinguish the flames.

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'It was really difficult and we had to ask for both the county's water bowsers to come over and help with supplies.

'When we arrived I think the fire had been going for some time because the first building was well alight,' he said.

The buildings contained pallets, boxes and had cold-store sections which included panels of poly-foam which added fuel to the blaze.

'There was substantial damage but we secured a nearby chemical store and stopped the environmental impact of washing it into the water table or out into the environment,' said Mr Edwards.

He said it was not clear how the blaze spread from the first to the second building, but a collapsed roof meant that crews were unable to completely extinguish the fire and it was allowed to burn itself out under controlled conditions.

Mr Edwards said the high number of fire engines on the site was also a reflection of the water issue as they were all used as shuttles during the blaze.

'The water supply from the hydrant just wasn't strong enough, as is often the case in that area,' he said.

Crews from Outwell, Wisbech (2), West Walton, King's Lynn (2) and the water carrier from Fakenham were the first on the scene.

They were joined by crews from Downham Market, Terrington St Clement and Wymondham (2) with another water carrier coming across from Hethersett.

Fire crews from Methwold and Great Massingham relieved crews at 4.30am and remained on site until about 8.30am.

A spokesman for Norfolk fire service said one building was 60m x 15m while the second was 30m x 20m.

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