COUNTY NEWS: '˜Serious fire' rages through the night at Sussex scrapyard

Around 55 firefighters from around Sussex have spent the night tackling a major blaze at an industrial estate in Sussex.

The fire at the industrial estate. Photo: Eddie Mitchell
The fire at the industrial estate. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service was called to the fire at Ripley’s in Apex Way on the Diplocks industrial estate in Hailsham, East Sussex, at 8.21pm on Wednesday (June 13).

At the height of the fire, eight fires engines were at the scene along with two aerial ladder platforms, water carriers, the command support team and high volume pump, a spokesman said.

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Around 55 firefighters and officers worked to stop the fire from spreading to nearby buildings.

The fire at the industrial estate. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

Approximately 6,000 tonnes of scrap metal has been affected by the fire and cylinders have been removed from the area as a precaution, confirmed the spokesman.

There are no reports of injuries.

Flames and black smoke were seen billowing across the sky above the A22 and surrounding roads last night.

As of 6.30am today, two aerial ladder platforms are present along with four fire engines and the command support team.

Diplocks Way is closed to through-traffic, though access is being given to people who work at nearby businesses.

The fire service is urging people not to come to the area unless they absolutely have to.

There is still smoke in the area, which may increase as the fire and rescue services works with the onsite operators to clear the stack of scrap metal which is alight.

Residents are advised to keep doors and windows closed as any smoke can be an irritant.

Incident Commander Nigel Cusack said: “Due to the nature of the fire, it will take time for us to bring this incident to a close.

"We ask that locals assist us by avoiding the area so our fire engines and water carriers can easily get to the site.

"It’s also important that you take measures to avoid the smoke.

"Any smoke can be an irritant so please keep doors and windows closed if you are in the area or driving through.”

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service have attended as part of 'relief crewing' to allow crews on specialist vehicles to take breaks.

Sussex Police, the Environment Agency and Wealden District Council are also involved in the incident.

H Ripley & Co Ltd is a long established scrap merchant in the town.