COUNTY NEWS UPDATE: Farmer praises fire service after cement works inferno

A farmer has praised the fire service who tackled a huge blaze at an old cement works in West Sussex in the early hours of this morning.

Sunday, 24th September 2017, 12:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:26 pm
Nineteen coaches were destroyed in the blaze

Six fire engines were sent to the blaze at the old Shoreham cement works in Upper Beeding. Read our original story on our website.

Jenny Passmore, of Church Farm in Coombes, near Lancing, said she woke up to ‘loud bangs and explosion noises’, just after 2am.

She said: “We didn’t know what it was like everybody else. Going out the house we then saw the fire.

Nineteen coaches were destroyed in the blaze

“It was incredible – it looked like the whole of the cement works was going up.

“The whole of Coombes was awake and watching it – we knew it was buses as we heard from other people.

“My son went to see what was going on as we were concerned about the animals. Harvest was done fortunately as were were concerned about the crops too.

“It reminded my mother of the war, who is 97.”

A view of the fire from Coombes in the early hours of this morning (September 24). Picture supplied by Jenny Passmore

Mrs Passmore said she was ‘amazed’ by what the fire service had done.

“I take my hats off to the fire service,” she said.

“There wasn’t even smoke this morning, it was just misty – they did a fantastic job and it must have been incredibly dangerous for them.”

Fire investigation officers were due to meet with police this morning to start an investigation.

The old Shoreham cement works earlier today (September 24), after the blaze. Picture supplied by Jenny Passmore