Huge fire breaks out at Corkers Crisps factory near Ely
This was the shocking scene as a huge fire broke out at the Corkers Crisps factory in Pymoor, near Ely.
A massive plume of black smoke could be seen for miles around after the blaze broke out on Saturday afternoon (May 30).
Crews were called at 2.47pm, and advised residents to keep their doors and windows closed as a number of industrial units went up in the blaze.
More than 60 firefighters from Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk were involved in tackling the blaze.
Crews from Ely, Littleport, Chatteris, Cambridge, Huntingdon, Wisbech, St Neots, Burwell, Cottenham, Stanground, March, Soham, Manea attended. A high volume pump, crewed by Gamlingay and Papworth crews, also attended, along with a water carrier from Ramsey. They were supported by crews from Downham Market and Outwell in Norfolk, Newmarket in Suffolk and the water bowser from USAF Mildenhall.
Group commander Paul Clarke described it as a “very serious fire”.
“There are a lot of hazards to contend with,” he said, adding that the fire had built up rapidly. Crews had to deal with a number of oils.
High winds also caused challenges for firefighters, and the Covid-19 crisis meant the large number of firefighters on site to take extra care.
The fire was under control by about 8.30pm, but took hours more to extinguish fully.
“We are making very, very good progress,” said Mr Clarke, talking at 9.15pm. “Please do keep doors and windows closed in the area. We will be here all through the night and probably most of Sunday as well.”
The cause of the fire is not yet known and cannot be investigated until the area is completely safe and the structure of the buildings have been checked.
The Taylor family have been growing potatoes at their Fenland farm, Willow Farm, for six generations.
Ross Taylor launched Corkers, by hand-cooking crisps using traditional methods, in 2010.
The company grows, cooks and packages the crisps on the farm to reduce food miles, and has made sustainability one of its priorities.
Corkers has won multiple awards - and has two Guinness World Records to its name - one for the first bag of crisps in space and the other for the biggest bag of crisps in the world, which weighed in at an astonishing 1.14 tonnes.
More by this authorPaul Brackley
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