OVER 80 fire fighters tackled a huge industrial blaze in Great Stambridge on Christmas Eve.
Firefighters were called to reports of a fire as large plume of smoke covered the skies of Stambridge at around midday on Sunday, December 24.
Parishioners were leaving the morning Holy Communion Service at nearby Great Strambridge & All Saint’s Church when large plumes of black smoke were seen emanating from large industrial sheds towards Rankin Farm.
An eye witness commented: “I’ve never seen a fire like it, there were flames rising up in black clouds of smoke.”
Fire engines repeatedly arrived on the scene, making a total of eight crews from Southend, Leigh, Chelmsford, Rayleigh Weir, Grays, Basildon, Corringham and Rochford.
After over four hours of tackling the fire, which affected industrial units measuring a total area of 100m x 50m, Essex County Fire & Rescue managed to get the ferocious blaze well under control.
At 4.30 pm, area Manager Neil Fenwick said: “The fire is almost out. We’ll be on scene for a few more hours checking for hot spots and investigating the cause of the fire.
“When we arrived at the scene earlier today, we found a well-developed fire. The wind has been the major factor in how quickly the fire spread, but our firefighters were working really hard to stop the fire spreading to any other units at the site.
“At the height we had around 80 firefighters here helping to extinguish the fire. The building on fire contained a large quantity of furniture, it also had cylinders and chemicals. This was a difficult fire so we bought in some of our special equipment, like our drone and aerial ladder platform, to deal with the fire as safely as we can.”
He continued: “The incident is being scaled down to leave around 20 firefighters at the scene to finish extinguishing hot spots.”
The cause of the incident was still unknown at the time of writing, but a fire investigation had been launched.
Picture: The fire seen from Great Stambridge church yard. Pic SS-J.
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