UPDATE: Severe fire guts Watton business

Dozens of firefighters from across Norfolk tackled a major blaze on an industrial estate in Watton early today.

The alarm was raised at about 12.20am and officers arrived to find Carbon Elite, on the Norwich Road Industrial Estate, well alight.

It took nearly five hours to get the blaze under control in the windy conditions and crews will remain at the scene damping down for most of the day.

The reinforced plastics business, measuring around 30 metres by 44 metres, has been gutted and large sections of the roof are missing.

Incident commander Jonathan Wilby, station manager at Great Yarmouth, said the large L-shaped building was structurally unsound and firefighters were still unable to get inside.

Fifteen crews were called to the scene including crews from Watton, Hingham, East Harling. Dereham, Swaffham, Wymondham, Earlham, Hethersett, Methwold and Attleborough.

Mr Wilby said the building had contained a number of chemicals, including various plastic hardeners, and a decision had been taken to keep firefighters out and to tackle the fire externally.

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'With a bit of aggressive fire fighting they managed to stop the fire from spreading to the adjoining units,' he said. 'The weather made it more hazardous due to the fact we had a lot of flying debris from the roof.

'We will investigate when it's safe and that may not even be tomorrow because we prefer to carry out investigations in the daylight.'

An East of England Ambulance Service spokesman said nobody had been injured, but paramedics had been sent for the safety of the firefighters.

Police were also called out due to the severity of the fire.