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‘Flames two storeys high’: Drama as blaze breaks out in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 17:03 08 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:04 09 February 2020

A fire at chicken sheds in Marsham near Aylsham. Picture: Jono Thorne

A fire at chicken sheds in Marsham near Aylsham. Picture: Jono Thorne

Jono Thorne

Huge plumes of black smoke could be seen for miles around after a fire broke out at three chicken sheds in Marsham, near Aylsham.

A fire at a chicken farm in Marsham near Aylsham. Picture: Jono ThorneA fire at a chicken farm in Marsham near Aylsham. Picture: Jono Thorne

Huge plumes of black smoke could be seen for miles around after a fire broke out at three chicken sheds in Marsham, near Aylsham.

The smoke was blowing across the busy A140 causing traffic to be slowed and motorists were urged to take care and avoid the area, if possible.

People living in nearby houses were also warned to keep windows and doors closed.

Eight pumps were sent to the scene at about 10.50am today and crews will remain on scene the rest of the day and overnight.

The fire at chicken sheds in Marsham near Aylsham. Picture: Jono ThorneThe fire at chicken sheds in Marsham near Aylsham. Picture: Jono Thorne

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service group manager Clive Wells said: "We were called at 10.54am. We had eight pumps plus the water carrier and the control unit at the scene.

"Three derelict chicken sheds were 100pc destroyed. There are not believed to be any people injured.

"The fire was under control by about 12.30pm, but crews will remain at the scene the rest of today and tonight.

"Some large conifer trees near the sheds were scorched, but we managed to stop the fire spreading.

Three chicken sheds were destroyed in a fire in Marsham near Aylsham. Picture: David BaleThree chicken sheds were destroyed in a fire in Marsham near Aylsham. Picture: David Bale

"I don't know what it could have been like, if it had been tomorrow, when the strong winds are predicted."

Luckily, the wind blew the smoke away from nearby houses.

Motorists could see a large plume of smoke "from miles away", and Joshua Perren said that it appeared to be coming from a building behind The Plough Inn pub.

READ MORE: Drone footage shows aftermath of huge fire at Norfolk chicken farm

Chicken sheds are on fire in Marsham, near Aylsham. Picture: Stephen King.Chicken sheds are on fire in Marsham, near Aylsham. Picture: Stephen King.

Flames could also be seen high in the air, with Mr Perren saying that he could see them over the top of the pub, which is two storeys high.

Crews from Aylsham, Sprowston, Earlham, Carrow, Wroxham, Mundesley and Sheringham, together with the water carrier and control unit from Wymondham, used their main jets to fight the fire.

A crew from Stalham was also mobilised to reports of a second fire on Spa Lane in Aylsham, but this was a false alarm caused by smoke coming from the chicken shed blaze in nearby Marsham.

Rachel Goode, who lives close to the sheds, said: "I smelt smoke at about 10.30am and thought that one of my neighbours might have been having a bonfire.

"Then a bit of panic set in and I thought my house might have been on fire, but it was the sheds."

Another resident, Hannah Long, said: "I was asleep when my other half called to ask if I knew there was a fire.

"I saw it and was scared - fire is a big fear of mine."

Neighbour Tina Mallett said: "I saw smoke from the field, while helping my neighbour out with the horses. I came back to the house to check on the dog. The flames were higher than the conifers."

The cause of the fire is not yet known.


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