UPDATE: Fire crews to stay at Wellingborough blaze scene throughout weekend

A close-up view of the factory fire in Wellingborough (photo supplied by Rob Hudson) NNL-140404-101531001
A close-up view of the factory fire in Wellingborough (photo supplied by Rob Hudson) NNL-140404-101531001

Fire crews will be remaining at the scene of a huge blaze at the ESS Recycling plant in Wellingborough’s Leyland Industrial Estate throughout the weekend, Northamptonshire Fire Service says.

About 14 fire engines and 60 firefighters, from Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, were called to deal with the blaze at its height on Friday, April 4.

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service say firefighters would be remaining at the scene, although on Friday night the fire service said just two crews would be at the site.

Chief Fire Officer Martyn Emberson said: “Although there is no imminent risk to life, we expect this fire to continue for a number of days and to produce significant amounts of smoke.

“Current advice suggests that there are limited risks to health and we will continue to monitor air quality and update the community as required.”

Police advised people to stay away from the area and people living nearby were being advised to keep windows and doors closed.

Large fire on the Leyland Industrial Estate in Wellingborough. Picture: @Northants_RPU, Twitter

Large fire on the Leyland Industrial Estate in Wellingborough. Picture: @Northants_RPU, Twitter

Eyewitness Peter Barratt, of Irthlingborough, said he passed the industrial estate at about 8.30am on Friday and was alerted when he saw smoke.

He added: “I realised one of the large warehouse units was well alight and flames were bursting through the roof.

“The smoke was at least 300ft up into the air and blowing across the Nene Valley. Fire engines started arriving about five minutes later.

“I left at about 9am and when I was on Irthlingborough Road I looked back and could see the flames shooting about 20ft out of the roof of the building.”

Nearby businesses, including Nene Valley Motorcycles, were told to evacuate their premises.

Another neighbouring firm, Professional Choice Hair and Beauty Supplies, posted a message on social media to say the branch on the Leyland Industrial Estate is closed for the whole day.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire Police said: “The following road closures remain in place: The Senwick Road junction with Irthlingborough Road is closed to all traffic in the direction of Irthlingborough and the Leyland Trading Estate.

“The Sidegate Lane junction with Irthlingborough Road is also closed to all traffic in the direction of Wellingborough.”

A Public Health England spokesman said residents living nearby should stay indoors and keep windows closed.

He added: “Motorists who have to travel through the smoke should keep windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep their air vents closed.”

“So far, there have been no reports of any people experiencing ill effects from this fire.

“Agencies involved will continue to monitor the situation and issue advice to the public, businesses and organisations affected as necessary.

“Because smoke consists of a mixture of gases, liquid droplets and solid particles representing the decomposition and combustion products from fires, we can issue the following general advice in relation to smoke from fires.

“Some of the substances present in smoke can irritate the lining of the air passages, the skin and the eyes. If symptoms occur, people should seek medical advice or call NHS 111.”

ESS Recycling deals with waste fridges and freezers, among other items. Its website can be found here.

The industrial estate is on the eastern edge of Wellingborough, off the B571 Irthlingborough Road.

Lots of readers have been in touch with the Telegraph to send us photos of their views of the blaze.

You can email your pictures here.

Reader Laura Sturges sent this video of the blaze.

And reader Jonathan Hunt uploaded this video on Youtube.