Business owner thanks firefighters after major blaze at Hailsham firm

Firefighters expect to remain at the scene until this evening
Firefighters expect to remain at the scene until this evening
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Firefighters have worked through the night after a major blaze broke out at a Hailsham business on Monday (August 15).

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service remain on the scene of the fire at PJ Skips waste facility on the A22 northbound near Hailsham.

The fire service say eight pumping appliances were at the scene at the height of the incident. Photo by Nick Fontana.

The fire service say eight pumping appliances were at the scene at the height of the incident. Photo by Nick Fontana.

Speaking at the scene, PJ Skips owner Nick Ellwood said: "I left here at around 7.20pm last night and I checked the site as normal. Everyhting was fine. I went home and started cooking my dinner. At around 8.20pm I had a call to say there was smoke coming out of the site. I was here by 8.30pm, ataround the same time as the fire service got here.

"I can't thank them [the fire service] enough, they've done everything they can to save our office. It has all our computer equipment and files and other important electronics. They've save our offices, they've been absolutely brilliant.

"I just want to thank them and to apologise to any customers or people nearby for any inconvenience."

Mr Ellwood added that he would look after his staff while the business is closed. The business employs more than 30 staff members on site.

Incident commander Tony McCord says the fire service expects to remain on scene until as late as this evening to keep the fire under control.

Fire crews are currently moving waste around the scene to ensure it is not alight. The process is expected to take several hours.

At the height of the incident eight pumping appliances from Hailsham, Herstmonceux, Eastbourne, Pevensey, Heathfield, Uckfield and Mayfield were in attendance with special vehicles, including the aerial ladder platform from Hastings, and two water bowsers from Uckfield and Burgess Hill.

The A22 northbound has now been reopened, but it is believed that one lane may be closed again at midday today.

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