Norfolk

North Pickenham warehouse blaze caused by 'electrical item'

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Media captionThree gas cylinders used to supply fork-lift trucks exploded in the "major" fire

A major warehouse blaze in Norfolk that triggered a number of explosions was likely started by a faulty electrical item, investigators have revealed.

The fire at E and S J Walpole, in North Pickenham, broke out during the fire service strike on 1 November last year.

Its intensity caused plumes of smoke that could be seen over 20 miles away.

Jason Snook at the haulage and storage firm said the area was still being cleared and it would "take stock" before deciding if it could be rebuilt.

Three explosions were heard as fork lift trucks powered by propane cylinders caught alight.

Image copyright John Blackburne
Image caption People were advised to shut their windows because of the smoke from the fire

The blaze gutted the warehouse and caused structural collapse, but no-one working there at the time was hurt.

It was so fierce it took a number of weeks to establish a cause.

Mr Snook said the fire at the 21-acre site involved cardboard and packaging.

He said it had "affected the business", based in Dereham, but it had managed to "get on with it" and keep its haulage side running.

He said if the warehouse could not be rebuilt on the same site, the firm would consider opening one elsewhere.

Image copyright @AbelHomes
Image caption Smoke from the fire could be seen more than 20 miles away

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