Massive inferno destroys Kirkcaldy factory

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A MASSIVE inferno devastated a factory at Mitchelston industrial estate yesterday (Wednesday).

The fire service was called at 3.55 p.m. to deal with the blaze at the Production Fibreglass building.

Eyewitnesses reported massive explosions as the flames grew higher and the big worry to emergency services was plumes of possibly toxic smoke coming from burning chemicals.

Those in the surrounding buildings were encouraged to remain inside.

One worker from the factory, who did not want to be named, said: “I feel awful, it’s my livelihood.

“The whole factory has burned to the ground, it is totally demolished.

“We’ve got 75 staff but nobody is trapped inside.

“The fire alarm went off, we checked it and we got everyone out - there were flames coming from the bottom of the factory where the fibreglass is stored.

“We don’t know how it started but firebreglass is very flammable.

“We’ve not thought about tomorrow yet, we’re all in shock.”

The Boreland and Gallatown roundabouts and the Standing Stane road were all closed as the smoke from the building travelled in that direction.

Six fire engines and one height appliances rushed to the scene, along with two NHS incident response units,

One eyewitness who was working in a nearby office said: “It was about 3.50 p.m. when we saw massive plumes of smoke from the window.

“We heard big explosions and it was quite scary.”

Bob Ellis from Kingdom Bakery added: “We saw the flames licking 50 to 100 feet high, it certainly looked fierce and I got a good view of it from my office.”

A specialist unit, the Skene Group, were called in at the same time as emergency services.

They deal with the sudden collapse of buildings and asbestos removal.

The fire was brought under control by around 9 p.m. and police confirmed there were no reported injuries.

Speaking from the scene of the fire, Fife Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager Alec Smart said: “Public protection has been paramount during our operation to tackle the blaze. Thick smoke caused roads in the area to be closed and advice to close windows and stay indoors was based on expert advice to minimise any potential for harm to people in the area.

“To put it in some perspective, the smoke itself was no more toxic than that of a normal house fire.

“Our investigations into the fire will continue in conjunction with the police whilst we ensure the building is made safe.”

Kirkcaldy Police Inspector Steven Hamilton said; “With the fire now well under control and the roads network returning to normality the emphasis now will be to maintain a presence at the scene with our Fire Service colleagues until Thursday morning, when a joint fire investigation will take place in an effort to establish the cause of the fire which remains unknown at this time.

“I am very conscious of the considerable disruption that was caused to the public in the area and would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their patience and understanding.”