Harlow fire: Plumes of smoke rise over town as Essex fire crews battle blaze at sausage factory

Firefighters were called to a fire in an industrial building on River Way, Harlow Credit: Essex Fire and Rescue

Fire crews are continuing to battle a huge blaze at a sausage factory that has sent plumes of smoke over an Essex town throughout the day.

Firefighters arrived on the scene just after 5am after reports that a fire had broken out at Riverway Foods at an industrial site in River Way, Harlow.

There were 10 fire engines, with crews from Essex, Hertfordshire and London in attendance by 7.17am.

Six crews remained at the scene on Tuesday afternoon and were still working to extinguish the fire at 3.30pm.

They are tackling it in sections using an aerial ladder platform allowing them to fight the flames from above as well as on the ground.

Firefighters were called to a fire in an industrial building on River Way, Harlow. Credit: Dorottya Spányik/PA

Dorottya Spanyik said her husband had been working on a nightshift in the industrial unit when fire alarms sounded.

“My husband works there, he was there when the fire started before 6am,” Ms Spanyik told the PA news agency.

Firefighters tackling the fire in River Way Credit: Essex Fire and Rescue Service

“I’m not sure who alerted the fire brigade, because the whole night shift was still there when the fire alarms went off.

“And they are still there, but luckily no personal injury.”

Six crews are still at the scene Credit: Essex Fire and Rescue Service

Firefighters have also been working to safely escort staff in the area off of the site.

Area manager Jim Palmer said: “At the height of the fire, we had over 70 firefighters here including aerial appliances and including some of our partners from Hertfordshire.

“We continue to be at the scene operationally firefighting and looking to extinguish all the hotspots. We expect to be here until at least the early evening.

“I would like to pass on my thanks to the communities and the businesses in the area that have been very supportive of our efforts to extinguish this fire.

Crews are using an Aerial Ladder Platform (ALP) to tackle the fire from above as well as the ground Credit: Essex Fire and Rescue Service

“I would like to assure you that we look to resolve this as soon as we possibly can and look to let you go about your normal business.

He said River Way remained closed and thanked Essex Police for their assistance.