Plumes of smoke seen in Sawbridgeworth as firefighters from Essex, Herts and London attend blaze in Harlow factory
Plumes of smoke could be seen as far away as Sawbridgeworth 60 firefighters from Essex, Hertfordshire and London tackled a huge blaze in an industrial building in Harlow on Tuesday morning.
Crews from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) were called to the fire at 5.22am. On arrival, they found that a factory in River Way, off the A414 Edinburgh Way, measuring 50m x 50m was 95% alight and 100% smoke-logged.
Access to the building was reported as "extremely limited" and crews were working hard in difficult conditions to tackle the flames as quickly as possible.
ECFRS increased its attendance from six appliances to eight with two from Harlow, one each from Old Harlow, Stansted, Waltham Abbey, Leaden Roding and Wethersfield, and the aerial ladder platform from Chelmsford. They were aided by a further two from Hertfordshire and two from the London Fire Brigade.
Plumes of smoke could be seen all over Harlow and further afield. Residents living near the blaze were advised to keep their doors and windows closed.
River Way and surrounding roads were reported to be closed and traffic disruption was anticipated.
At 11am ECFRS reported that the fire was under control and had been contained to one building.
Group manager Scott Meekings said: “Our crews have done an amazing job to contain the fire to the affected site which is a food manufacturing building and stop it from spreading to neighbouring properties.
"We have sectioned the fire into four areas and have control of it. We'd like to thank those who live and work nearby for their patience and support - we expect that the road and access will be closed for most of the day, so please do avoid the area and if you're nearby, keep your windows closed if they are nearby."
And by 1.30pm it was reported that crews were making "steady progress" in extinguishing the fire, but incident commander Richie Green said six crews were expected to remain at the scene into the evening and "potentially overnight to monitor hotspots within the building".
"Our priority is to extinguish the fire and help to safely escort staff in the area away from the site as they head home from work," he said.
"We'd like to thank local residents and businesses for their patience, this has caused lots of disruption on River Way, Harlow and we're grateful for the support we've received while we deal with this incident."