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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 October, 2004, 18:42 GMT 19:42 UK
Blaze forces pickle plant closure
Seat of the fire
The pickle factory fire began near wooden pallets and gas cylinders
A major blaze which took 150 firefighters to control has forced a Suffolk factory which makes Branston pickle to close.

The blaze started near wooden pallets and gas cylinders at Premier Foods, Bury St Edmunds.

Because of the severity of the fire, officers had to work in shifts through Tuesday night to control it.

Sales director Ian York said about 40 workers were at the site when the fire broke out but no-one was hurt.

The fire started at about 1.45am and within an hour 150 firefighters were on the scene.

'Important factory'

By 5am the fire was under control but it smouldered for the rest of the day.

"We needed 150 people because of the severity of the fire - the intensity and severity of the heat meant we couldn't let firefighters work for more than 15 or 20 minutes," a fire service spokesman said.

About 300 people work at the factory which has recently been modernised and the workforce enlarged.

Company spokesman Dominic Box said Premier Foods was committed to re-opening the factory as soon as possible.

"It is a very important factory," he said. "We know that we need to get this place moving very quickly and we are putting every effort into doing that now."


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