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Billowing blaze at derelict Manganese Bronze plant in Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, caused by trespassers

PUBLISHED: 08:31 01 May 2017 | UPDATED: 12:03 01 May 2017

The fire at the former Manganese Bronze plant on Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, on April 30. Picture: MATT REASON

The fire at the former Manganese Bronze plant on Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, on April 30. Picture: MATT REASON

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Four fire engines tackled a “needless” 14-hour blaze at the former Manganese Bronze plant in Ipswich, eventually leaving the scene this morning.

The fire was reported at 5.35pm yesterday with crews arriving to find a two-storey building at the former Manganese Bronze plant off Hadleigh Road well alight.

The fire had taken hold in the roof and on the first floor of the building, which is behind houses and opposite Community Action Suffolk at the Elton Business Centre.

The scene at Manganese Bronze plant in Ipswich the morning after a fire tackled by firefighters over a 14-hour period. Picture: MATT STOTTThe scene at Manganese Bronze plant in Ipswich the morning after a fire tackled by firefighters over a 14-hour period. Picture: MATT STOTT

The fire was eventually put out and brought under control shortly before 8am this morning.

Firefighters did not enter the building due to safety reasons and concerns over discarded needles.

The scene at Manganese Bronze plant in Ipswich the morning after a fire tackled by firefighters over a 14-hour period. Picture: MATT STOTTThe scene at Manganese Bronze plant in Ipswich the morning after a fire tackled by firefighters over a 14-hour period. Picture: MATT STOTT

Speaking at the scene last night, Station Commander Jon Southgate, of the Princes Street station, said the fire was caused by someone deliberately or accidentally setting the fire.

He said: “There are numerous discarded needles around the site and from experience we know there will be needles inside as well.

“We will not be entering the building because I want to ensure the safety of our firefighters. The condition of the building and the presence of needles are among several hazards.

“We have been called to this site on several previous occasions. It is a shame that we are now going to have four crews fighting a completely needless and preventable fire.”

The fire at the Manganese Bronze plant on Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, on April 30. Picture: MATT REASONThe fire at the Manganese Bronze plant on Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, on April 30. Picture: MATT REASON

The firefighters used two hose jets to fight the fire from the outside, with an aerial appliance sent to the scene to see if they can also fight the blaze from above.

There was no one inside the building and there was no risk to neighbouring properties.

The fire at the Manganese Bronze plant on Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, on April 30. Picture: MATT REASONThe fire at the Manganese Bronze plant on Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, on April 30. Picture: MATT REASON

In total, nine fire appliances attended the scene. There were only four fire engines present at any one time. Relief appliances took over those which first attended. One fire engine remained at the scene overnight.

One nearby resident in Hadleigh, who did not wish to be named, said: “I saw four fire engines here last night. I don’t know what caused it, but you get youngsters sneaking around.”

Firefighters were called to a fire at the old Manganese Bronze site on Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, on April 30. Picture: MATT REASONFirefighters were called to a fire at the old Manganese Bronze site on Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, on April 30. Picture: MATT REASON

Firefighters are due to return to the site for a reinspection later today.

Crews attended from Ipswich East, Princes Street, Holbrook and Hadleigh.

The scene at Manganese Bronze plant in Ipswich the morning after a fire tackled by firefighters over a 14-hour period. Picture: MATT STOTTThe scene at Manganese Bronze plant in Ipswich the morning after a fire tackled by firefighters over a 14-hour period. Picture: MATT STOTT

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said the force is not currently involved in the incident.

The scene at Manganese Bronze plant in Ipswich the morning after a fire tackled by firefighters over a 14-hour period. Picture: MATT STOTTThe scene at Manganese Bronze plant in Ipswich the morning after a fire tackled by firefighters over a 14-hour period. Picture: MATT STOTT


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