South East Wales

Fire at Real Crisps plant at Crumlin forces evacuation

Real Crisps factory on fire - image Mark Payne
The Real Crisps factory was well alight when fire crews arrived

Workers at a factory near Caerphilly that makes potato crisps have been evacuated as fire crews tackle a large blaze.

Firefighters say 75% of the Real Crisps plant on the Penyfan industrial estate at Crumlin was alight as crews arrived just after 03:30 BST on Thursday.

More than 50 firefighters and eight engines are at the scene as they try to stop the flames spreading.

Nearby residents are being advised to keep doors and windows closed.

Environment Agency Wales said its officers were also at the scene.

Lyndon Moreton, the area operations manager for the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said he expected crews to remain at the site for "several hours".

"On arrival, our crews encountered a very well developed fire, involving about 75% of the building," he said.

"There was a developed fire due to the contents of the building - fats and oils used in manufacturing process."

Monitoring

Mr Moreton said efforts were focusing on preventing the blaze from spreading to other units on the industrial estate.

He said they were also working to protect large oil storage tanks on the site.

Staff at the factory raised the alarm and were evacuated safely.

"The damage to the main building is very extensive," added Mr Moreton.

"There is still quite an extensive fire here. There is a large smoke plume - however, because of the nature of the operations here, there are no hazardous substances."

The fire service said environmental health officers were also monitoring the situation, and an ambulance service hazard response team was also on standby.

Fire investigation experts are also at the location, but the cause of the fire has yet to be established.

The factory is operated by Sirhowy Valley Foods, and owned by Northern Ireland snack company, Tayto Group.

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