28 October 2014

Firefighters are tackling a fire which broke out at a household chemicals warehouse this morning (28 October).

Crews from Suffolk Fire and Rescue were called to an industrial estate in Hadleigh at 5.50am.

At its height around 70 firefighters and 16 appliances were in attendance.

The industrial estate was closed off, nearby buildings were evacuated and local roads closed.

The public had been asked to keep their windows and doors closed, amid concerns that the smoke may contain chemicals but, after investigation, Suffolk Police have withdrawn that advice.

A police spokesman said that the fire was not currently being treated as suspicious but investigations into the cause were still ongoing.

Trucks were used to remove several tonnes of chemicals.

Ian Bowell, Area Commander for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, told local newspaper EADT24: “There were 20 tonnes of chemicals at the rear of the premises that needed to be protected and so we setup to stop the fire from spreading. Fork lift trucks from neighbouring businesses were used to remove the chemicals pallet by pallet.”

Firefighters are still at the scene but the fire is under control.

Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.