Blaze damages rubber factory

PUBLISHED: 14:28 27 April 2006 | UPDATED: 13:23 04 May 2010

FIRE-FIGHTERS fought to save a Littleport rubber factory on Sunday night as a blaze ripped through the roof. They used thermal imaging cameras to track the fire as flames spread through roofing sheets at Murfitts Industries, in Wisbech Road. The fire brok

FIRE-FIGHTERS fought to save a Littleport rubber factory on Sunday night as a blaze ripped through the roof.

They used thermal imaging cameras to track the fire as flames spread through roofing sheets at Murfitts Industries, in Wisbech Road.

The fire broke out in a tyre- crushing machine, quickly spreading through the building's venting system into the roof which was insulated with polyurethane foam.

Two workers raised the alarm just before 7pm on Sunday when they discovered smoke and flames pouring out of the liberator machine which separates steel from car tyres before grinding them to granules.

Fire-fighters had to call for back-up equipment and a turn-table ladder to get on to the roof.

They worked stripping back roofing sheets to get ahead of the flames and create a fire break to prevent the blaze from spreading through the 30 metre by 60 metre aluminium-framed factory.

Lead fire officer Dave Robertson said: "It was a matter of protecting the fire-fighters who were working at height and working with toxic material.

"The whole process was fairly hazardous.

"It was a case of stripping sheets off the roof and they are 10 metres by two metres and fairly hefty.

"My concern was that the whole factory could be lost.

"I've seen this sort of fire in a processing plant spread quickly and destroy the whole building."

No-one was hurt in the blaze and there was no risk to the public.

The company's commercial manager, Barry Stocker, said: "All our machines are in compartments that are fire and sound-proofed and the in-house fire prevention systems worked well.

"We should be completely back to normal in a couple of days.

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