Fireball fear in blaze at recycling centre

A MAJOR fire at a recycling plant near Framlingham could have turned into a 'fireball' if volatile gas cylinders exploded, it has been claimed.

A MAJOR fire at a recycling plant near Framlingham could have turned into a 'fireball' if volatile gas cylinders exploded, it has been claimed.

Around 50 fire fighters surrounded the Countrystyle Group recycling and composting centre in Parham after fire broke out shortly after 4.30pm today.

It is thought that insulation foam caught fire causing toxic flames to leap over the heads of workers in the plant.

A cylinder of highly-flammable acetylene gas was inside the building at Parham Airfield, prompting fears it could engulf the whole plant in flames.

Group manager Geoff Pyke, a command support officer at the scene, said: “It looks like a major fire.

“If it had ignited, it becomes a projectile device and the place could have become a fireball.”

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The nearby road has been closed off while crews try to bring the incident under control.

The canister was later removed and cooled after it was clear it had not been involved in the blaze.

Fire crews from Framlingham, Saxmundham, Ipswich, Leiston, Sudbury and Woodbridge had waited outside the 50m by 40m plant until it was safe to enter.

The flames were tackled by three jets inside the building and three jets outside by fire crews using breathing apparatus.

A turntable ladders and two water bowsers were also used to fight the fire which had spread to the roof.

Group manager Pyke said he expected fire fighters to tackle the blaze until the early hours of the morning.

“It's going to be a long night,” he said.

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