Massive factory fire closes part of industrial estate

A fire tore through an industrial estate yesterday, gutting five commercial units.

About 70 fire officers and 10 fire engines were called to the blaze at KCS Group in Shelton Road, Corby, just after 5.30am.

They found the fire had spread to four adjoining buildings in Willowbrook Industrial Estate and spent the whole day trying to contain it.

At the scene Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service area manager David Harding said: “At about 6am crews found a well-established fire in five single-storey industrial units.

“Efforts are focused on containing the spread now and then extinguishing the remaining fire. Sixty per cent of the buildings have been heavily damaged by the fire – they’ve been gutted.

“At the height of the incident we had 10 pumps from across the county and in the region of 70 fire officers in attendance.

“We also had help from crews from Leicestershire and Cambridgeshire.

“We will certainly be in attendance for the rest of today and probably, in a limited sense, into tomorrow as well.

“It is a very serious fire and those whose companies have been involved will be very seriously affected.

“Even those that were not directly hit by the fire will be affected by smoke and heat damage.”

Nearby Steel Road was closed for almost 12 hours yesterday between Phoenix Parkway and the A43 but was reopened late in the afternoon.

The cause of the fire is unknown but an investigation is under way.

Police officers and ambulance crews were on the scene but there were no injuries.

And there were engineers from National Grid in attendance as a precaution, after several small gas cylinders could be heard exploding.

Mr Harding added: “There were several small aerosol canisters that discharged in the early stages of the fire, and we’ve removed some gas cylinders.

“There was no immediate danger to other buildings in the surrounding area.”

Black smoke billowed from the buildings and the flames at one point were as tall as the trees surrounding the units.

Mr Harding said the fire service were unable to ascertain whether or not the smoke was toxic, as they were not sure of the contents of the buildings.

The fire service said yesterday they did not know when the fire would be out, and crews are likely to remain in attendance for much of today.