Norfolk

Shredding plant fire in Norwich brought under control

  • 29 February 2012
  • From the section Norfolk

A "raging fire" at a paper shredding plant on an industrial estate in Norwich has been brought under control.

The blaze broke out at PHS Datashred in Wendover Road on Rackheath industrial estate at about 08:50 GMT.

Neighbouring buildings were evacuated as crews tackled the fire, which had spread to the unit's roof which later collapsed.

It is thought gas cylinders could be inside the warehouse, which is too unsafe to enter.

A 100m (328ft) police cordon is still in place around the site and motorists have been advised to avoid the area.

'Huge fireball'

A spokesman for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said: "When the crews arrived, there was a raging fire at the back of the building.

"They couldn't get inside as the structure was too unsafe."

At its height, about 60 firefighters and 13 fire engines were at the scene.

Jonathan Neville, managing director of nearby business Polyprint, said he saw the fire as he arrived at work.

He said the building was a "huge fireball" which looked like "a volcano has gone off".

He said there was thick, black smoke going about 1,000ft (304m) into the air.

All workers at the warehouse had left the building safely and there were no reported casualties, the fire service spokesman said.

He said it was expected work to damp the fire down from the outside would continue for the "foreseeable future" but the cause was not known.

In January 2011 a cafe on the estate was destroyed in an explosion.

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