A huge blaze in the middle of the night has destroyed ‘around two-third’s of the building’ at Searle’s factory in Fareham, Hamsphire. Local reports say 15 fire engines and 80 firefighters were required to tend the blaze. No-one was injured
A devastating fire swept through coolers and condensers giant GEA Searle’s factory in Fareham last night. Local Portsmouth newspaper the News reported fire crews from 14 local stations attending to the fire,together with the Hazardous Materials Detection Identification and Monitoring Team (HAZMAT).
Paul Coates, station manager at Fareham Fire Station, told the News: ‘When we got there, the flames were 50 foot out of the roof. There were things exploding everywhere. High winds were driving the fire.At least half of the building was already on fire.’
Mr Coates added: ‘We had to use our water supply to protect the building next to it. The first crews from Fareham did a brilliant job. They were faced with a rapid fire and lots of explosions occurring. We had to move our fire engines straight away as there were cylinders flying everywhere. The unit opposite could have gone up as well - and that was even bigger. We had to put up with potential asbestos inside the building too.”
Hamphsire Fire and Rescue Service Incident Commander Area Manager Steve Foye said:”“More than 80 firefighters have tackled the blaze since it broke out at around 23:45 last night. At this time the incident is still ongoing but the fire is now contained and crews are dampening down.”
On scene, Hamphsire Fire and Rescue Service is working in partnership with the South Central Ambulance Service, Hampshire Constabulary, Fareham Borough Council and Environment Agency to make the scene safe. All agencies will be returning to normal duties shortly.
At this time the cause of the fire is not yet known. There have been no injuries.
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