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Working with partner agencies, a large industrial fire at a factory site containing 300 tons of plastic was quickly brought under control, reducing the impact on neighbouring buildings and land. As a result of the actions by the management team and the processes in place at the business, all staff were safely evacuated with no injuries or loss of life.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) received an initial call at 3.30pm on 24 November to a fire at a business in Priory Tech Way in Hessle. A large plume of black smoke could be seen for miles around and across the river Humber. At 4pm there were 10 fire engines on scene along with one Aerial Ladder Platform and two special units (water support and incident command unit) in attendance.

Soon after, a major incident was declared, and the Local Resilience Forum (LRF) multi agency response was established. Residents in properties near the incident were evacuated as a precautionary measure, with support from Humberside Police and the Local Authority, East Riding of Yorkshire. They were safely allowed back into their properties in the early hours of 25 November. 

HFRS Fire Control room received 127 calls about the fire and initial calls were taken by Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service during a handover exercise as part of our resilience partnership working with Lincolnshire, Hertfordshire and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service Control Rooms.  

Colleagues from Humberside Police, UK Health Security Agency, Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Environment Agency were on scene and supported firefighters to bring the fire under control by the early morning of 25 November. As the large plume of smoke reduced to wispy white smoke after using foam and water to extinguish the flames, HFRS reduced the number of fire engines to six, and remained on scene to continue to dampen any residual heat and monitor the incident throughout the rest of the day.

HFRS Officers worked with colleagues from the Environment Agency on the use of foam and the measures in place to reduce the environmental impact and limit water runoff. They continued to monitor the water quality of the watercourse, as firefighters worked hard to extinguish the fire quickly and safely.  

Jason Kirby, Director of People and Development at Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, said  

“This is multi-agency working at its best; as the major incident was declared we rallied together, and this resulted in us bringing this large industrial fire quickly under control.

“Over 150 firefighters attended this incident, our Fire Control Operators took 127 emergency 999 calls within minutes, and countless more internal communications as they arranged crewing, working alongside colleagues from other agencies.

“Our Prevention and Protection staff have visited the residential area nearby, carrying out community reassurance with residents of the evacuated properties and those properties facing the fire, and the response has been amazing. Thank you for everyone’s support, encouragement and cooperation during this time.” 

Fire engines were reduced further over the course of the evening on 25 November and HFRS maintain a presence with a fire engine at the factory site on 26 November.