Huge fire breaks out in Totnes after explosion

By Ginny Ware   |   Totnes Reporter   |
Tuesday 26th April 2022 8:11 am
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The fire in Babbage Road (Totnes Fire Station )

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A huge fire broke out in Totnes last night after a big explosion was heard at an industrial site in the town.

An investigation is due to get underway this morning (Tuesday April 26) after the blaze completely destroyed a warehouse.

Plumes of thick black smoke were seen escaped from the building and police were called to the scene to clear people fom the area following concerns over plastic fumes.

(Totnes Fire Station ) (Totnes Fire Station)

An eyewitness said the fire was in the Tideford Organic Foods building at the Babbage Road site.

Twelve fire engines from across Devon were called to the scene at around 8.08pm on Monday night including crews from Totnes, Ivybridge, Buckfastleigh, Torquay, Paignton, Ashburton, Brixham, Newton Abbot, Teignmouth, Honiton, Martock and Clyst St George who battled the flames all night.

(Totnes Fire Station ) (Totnes Fire Station)

A spokesman from Totnes Fire Station said: “On arrival our crews confirmed a fire involving an industrial unit, which was well alight and spreading to adjacent units.”

A worker at Tideford claimed she could smell “wax burning” throughout the night and thought it was coming from a fly zapper, before realising the building was on fire.

She told Devon Live: “I smelt it all night. It smelt like wax burning. I thought it was coming from the fly zapper.

“All of a sudden I could really smell it. Luckily one of the lads had just come in and came out of the toilet. He turned around and said sh** it’s n fire. Get out!”

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service received several calls to the fire.

An update from the service at 3.40am this morning, April 26, confirmed the unit was 100 per cent destroyed by the blaze and the cause of the fire is unknown.

(Totnes Fire Station ) (Totnes Fire Station)

A spokesperson said: “Fire control received several calls to reports of a fire on Babbage Road, Totnes.

“Due to the number of calls five fire appliances and an aerial ladder platform were mobilised to the scene.

“On arrival crews confirmed a fire involving an industrial unit which was well alight and spreading to adjacent units.

“The officer in charge requested a further three fire appliances and these were immediately sent on, along with a welfare unit and incident command vehicle.

“The fire is involving a single storey industrial unit measuring 30 metres x 15 metres used for cardboard packaging.”

(Totnes Fire Station ) (Totnes Fire Station)

At 11.53 an update read: “The incident is starting to scale down. Two relief crews have been requested for midnight.

“A telehandler is now in use to start turning over and damping down.

“Fire investigation will commence tomorrow morning.”

A final update at 3.40am read: “The industrial unit was 100 per cent damaged by fire. The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time.”

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