Battle to save business as blaze starts in rubbish pile

A FIRE which started in a pile of rubbish spread to the main building at a Newhaven business on Tuesday July 24.

Firefighters battled through the night to save Sussex Skips in North Quay Road from the blaze, which could be seen from several miles away.

Fire at Sussex Skips, Newhaven

Fire at Sussex Skips, Newhaven

Sussex Police and East Sussex Fire and Rescue were called to the business after an alarm was activated.

They discovered flames sweeping through the buildings when they arrived at 12.40am.

At the height of the blaze around 50 firefighters and eight fire engines were at the scene.

Sergeant Dave Tye from East Sussex CID said: “The cause of the fire is yet unknown and we will continue to work with our colleagues at East Sussex Fire and Rescue who are continuing with their forensic examinations of the scene.

“If you heard or saw any suspicious activity yesterday evening [Monday July 23] please call 101 quoting serial 50 of 24/7 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Crews worked with the owners to save essential office information, along with millions of pounds worth of machinery, which will enable to business to trade again once the clear-up has been completed.

Brighton and Hove’s borough commander, Mark Rist said: “The crews did a fantastic job in saving a vast majority of the site and stemming the flow of contaminated water running off.

“It has been an arduous incident as we had to lift water for fire fighting from the nearby river.

“As it became light this morning the morning dew caused heavy smoke to sit over the area on the main site and the railway for a couple of hours, until sun light lifted the dew. 

“We also had a considerable amount of water running off, which was contaminated by debris from fire, which we are managing to contain to protect the nearby environment.

“We are working closely with Environment Agency, Southern Water and the site owners to determine where to put the water run-off so it does not pollute the river.”