Fire crews tackle major blaze at turkey factory

More than 35 firefighters have battled a major blaze at a turkey processing plant in Essex.

The fire broke out at Kelly Turkeys at Howe Green Farm, near Chelmsford just before 9am on Sunday (21 June).

The building, which measures 50m x 40m, was “50% alight and 100% smoke logged”, according to Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS).

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It is understood that no turkeys were in the building at the time of the fire. However, smoke clouds billowing from the building could be seen five miles away in Danbury.

Mark Turnball, assistant divisional officer from ECFRS, said on Sunday morning: “The collapse of the burning building is imminent and crews have been withdrawn from firefighting operations.  

“The aerial ladder platform is now in use as a water tower. Water is being poured from height to extinguish the fire.”

On Sunday night, crews were working to extinguish “deep-seated pockets of fire” within the building. An aerial ladder platform was in use along with two water cannons. 

See also: Kelly Turkeys to start processing in the US

Firefighters put out the fire by 8.16pm. One fire engine and crews remained at the scene overnight to dampen down the scene.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage. ECFRS and Essex Police will carry out a joint investigation.

The Kelly family started in 1981, supplying the best bronze turkeys. Kelly Turkeys has been awarded the best free-range turkeys in the UK for eight years running in the Great Taste awards.

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