Farm at whiff factory

QUICK thinking staff at a Suffolk farm averted a potential disaster when they extinguished a fire in a factory unit.

QUICK thinking staff at a Suffolk farm averted a potential disaster when they extinguished a fire in a factory unit.

Workers at Rookery Farm between Drinkstone and Woolpit reacted quickly when they saw plumes of smoke coming from the building shortly before 7pm yesterday.

By the time fire crews reached the farm the blaze was only smouldering.

Wayne Blake, farm manager, said only minimal damage had been caused and confirmed that operations would be up and running again by today.


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He said: “Everything will be back to normal again pretty quickly. Only minimal damage was caused which will be put right today.”

A full maintenance crew was on sight early this morning tending to the affected areas of the factory unit. Mr Blake said: “There were people on shift who noticed the fire and quickly report it. We had actually put the fire out by the time the fire crews arrived. They remained here for some time just to make sure it didn't start up again.”

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Four fire crews were despatched to the scene after two from Elmswell and Stowmarket initially assessed the blaze. They found the factory unit heavily smoke logged.

A fire service spokesman said the fire was believed to have started in an extraction system.

The fire service used a turntable ladder to damp down hotspots and also used a thermal imaging camera earlier this morning to ensure the fire was completely out.

A single crew remained at Rookery Farm overnight as a precaution leaving at around 6am although the incident was officially concluded at 12.55am.

The farm is well known as the source of the notorious “Woolpit Whiff” caused by preparing pig food - an issue which has led to court cases between farm owner John Clarke and Mid Suffolk council.

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