Firefighters ‘running around like hell’ in bid to tackle factory blaze

Datashredders fire Wimblington

Firefighters are at the scene of a major blaze at the Datashredders factory in Wimblington this morning (March 29). - Credit: Kenny Rock 

An eyewitness described firefighters “running around like hell” to find hydrants to connect to as they began to tackle a major fire in the Fens today.   

Kenny Rock said: “The fire brigade could not find any hydrants near the fire. That’s why they were running around like hell to find one, including looking over the side of the A141”.  

Mr Rock was describing the moments after more than 50 firefighters from Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Lincolnshire were called to tackle the blaze at a factory in Wimblington.   

Firefighters are at the scene of a major blaze at the Datashredders factory in Wimblington this morning (March 29).

Firefighters are at the scene of a major blaze at the Datashredders factory in Wimblington this morning (March 29). - Credit: Kenny Rock

“They used water from their engines until a hydrant was found,” he said. “I heard one fire chief tell his fire fighters that he wanted hoses round the side of the building. The fire was in real danger of spreading to nearby buildings.   

“And one of those is Laws Fertilisers”.   


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Today’s fire broke out at Datashredders on the Eastwood industrial estate at Wimblington.   

Firefighters are at the scene of a major blaze at the Datashredders factory in Wimblington this morning (March 29).

Firefighters are at the scene of a major blaze at the Datashredders factory in Wimblington this morning (March 29). - Credit: Jodi Newman

A fire service spokesperson confirmed on social media that crews from around the county were called, as well as help being sought from Norfolk and Lincolnshire fire services.   

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“Please avoid the area where possible,” said a fire service official.   

Dan Mason, our reporter at the scene, said: “I arrived at the A141 bypass just off the King Street junction at around 10am.   

“I found police had closed the road and then I saw massive plume of smoke which was just developing across the road from the exits to Eastwood End.   

“When I realised the road, I drove down the other junction, which wasn't closed, to get a better view. Police had closed off the road to Data Shredders where the fire is.”  

Firefighters are at the scene of a major blaze at the Datashredders factory in Wimblington this morning (March 29).

Firefighters are at the scene of a major blaze at the Datashredders factory in Wimblington this morning (March 29). - Credit: Kenny Rock

Dan said: “For about an hour I have seen multiple fire engines to the scene – I am told up to 15 fire crews are there. That’s not been confirmed.   

“Police have assured me there are no casualties and everyone living in the area is OK. They were called at 10am when they began to close the road off to Data Shredders.   

“Police have told me the road will be closed for several hours.”   

Road closure signs have now been put up.   

Datashredders provides shredding services for industries that deal with large amounts of sensitive data such as legal practices, healthcare providers and other public sectors. 

Firefighters are at the scene of a major blaze at the Datashredders factory in Wimblington this morning (March 29).

Firefighters are at the scene of a major blaze at the Datashredders factory in Wimblington this morning (March 29). - Credit: Kenny Rock

As well as paper shredding, its equipment can even shred other items that contain information such as laptops, phones, hard drives, ring binders and plastic files.    

According to the company’s website, 99 per cent of the paper shredded is baled and recycled.  

Firefighters are at the scene of a major blaze at the Datashredders factory in Wimblington this morning (March 29).

Firefighters are at the scene of a major blaze at the Datashredders factory in Wimblington this morning (March 29). - Credit: Gareth Corfield

It also has teams of mobile shredding units which travel the country visiting businesses and offices to take care of any documents on-site.    

Datashredders was incorporated in 2006 and its managing director is Edward Lefevre.    

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