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Investigation launched into cause of chemical fire at cleaning products factory

PUBLISHED: 09:27 18 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:32 18 April 2019

Fire crews, police and ambulance attended an incident at Brunel Way in Thetford. Photo: Simon Parkin

Fire crews, police and ambulance attended an incident at Brunel Way in Thetford. Photo: Simon Parkin

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Dozens of firefighters attended after a fire involving chemicals broke out at a factory that produces cleaning products on a Norfolk industrial estate.

Fire crews, police and ambulance attended an incident at Brunel Way in Thetford. Photo: Simon ParkinFire crews, police and ambulance attended an incident at Brunel Way in Thetford. Photo: Simon Parkin

Fire crews, the incident response unit of the ambulance service and police were called to Brunel Way in Thetford shortly before 7.30am today (April 18) after the chemical fire at the ECS factory was reported.

Fire appliances from Thetford, Sprowston, Attleborough and Methwold attended the scene, alongside the aerial ladder platform from Earlham.

In a tweet, Norfolk Fire and Rescue told people to avoid the area while they dealt with the incident.

Fire crews, police and ambulance attended an incident at Brunel Way in Thetford. Photo: Simon ParkinFire crews, police and ambulance attended an incident at Brunel Way in Thetford. Photo: Simon Parkin

Workers at the factory were evacuated from the building while firefighters worked on the blaze deliveries and people arriving at the site were prevented from entering.

Police closed part of Brunel Way and were limiting traffic entering the industrial estate.

A Norfolk Fire Service spokesman said the chemical fire had broken out in the factory but had been contained within the building.

A fire investigation has been launched into the circumstances surrounding the blaze and specialist investigators remain at the scene.

The factory is home to cleaning product manufacturer Easy Cleaning Solutions, which describes its Brunel Way facility as one of the largest cleaning products factories in Europe.

The company dates back to the 1950s and has both its headquarters and factory at the large site off the Brunel Way Business Park.

Fire crews, police and ambulance attended an incident at Brunel Way in Thetford. Photo: Simon ParkinFire crews, police and ambulance attended an incident at Brunel Way in Thetford. Photo: Simon Parkin

The factory, which employs more than 200 people, produces bleach, antiseptic and disinfectant liquid as well as a various toiletries.

In a statement the company said: “A fire alarm was triggered in the factory this morning and in line with our standard safety procedures the whole site was evacuated and first line response units attended. A small source was discovered a very quickly brought under control without any injury cause to personnel.

“There has been no damage to the factory's infrastructure or capabilities and the operation has already been handed back to the management team to resume normal activities.

“A full investigation will be conducted in conjunction with all key stakeholders to establish what the cause of the incident was and any required mitigating actions will be undertaken as required.

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