Crews prevent acetylene explosion at flooring unit

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Firefighters from across Norfolk and Suffolk worked through the night to prevent an explosive outcome after a warehouse fire.

Twenty-three emergency vehicles from as far afield as Kings Lynn joined Brandon and Thetford firefighters at the blaze at nU-span Flooring, just north of Brandon on the A1065, on Tuesday.

The crews were put into action just before 5pm after a fire started in a 1,000 sqm outdoor storage building containing concrete products and acetylene cylinders.

Staff were evacuated from the building and a 200m exclusion zone was set up around the building while crews dealt with the blaze.

Bob Ayers, group commander from Kings Lynn, said the initial plumes of black smoke made for a more dramatic scene than that which unfolded.

“The smoke was more down to the type of materials burning - polystyrene and timber.

“It was too dangerous to go in at first, but once we had extinguished the fire we were able to locate the acetylene tanks and thankfully they weren’t involved,” he said.

No one was injured or taken to hospital, although the East of England Ambulance Service sent three of its hazardous area response team vehicles as a precaution.

The building was handed back to the owners just before 9pm.