Huge blaze at recycling centre takes days to extinguish

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FIREFIGHTERS were yesterday still tackling a fire at a recycling centre that started early on Tuesday.

Crews were yesterday hoping to remove the cladding surrounding the 30m by 30m building at Lackford, so they could start to extinguish the blaze, which involves up to 120 tons of rubbish.

The fire broke out at the centre in Heath Farm Road at about 6.15am on Tuesday – firefighters had to wait for a digger to arrive to open a steel roller shutter door before they could get at the main seat of the fire. But watch manager James Fawcett said because the rubbish was tightly compacted, the only way firefighters could put out the blaze was to pull the rubbish outside and thin it out, something that they had been unable to do because of the intense smoke.

“What we are starting to do is remove the cladding to get air inside the building and help to clear some of the smoke and in effect bring the fire out into the open,” said watch manager Fawcett.

About 15 firefighters from Bury St Edmunds and Mildenhall have been dampening down parts of the fire at any one time. Water bowsers from Newmarket and Sudbury were also sent to the incident.

Watch manager Fawcett said: “It is too early to say what the cause of the fire is. Fire investigators will have to get inside the building once the fire is out. Sometimes with these facilities you may get a processing machine that overheats but this looks more like a storage facility.”

He added that site managers hoped that CCTV might reveal how the fire started.