Bernard Matthews’ production to be diverted after fire

PUBLISHED: 14:27 23 August 2020 | UPDATED: 14:39 23 August 2020

Fire crews were called to a blaze at Bernard Matthews in Great Witchingham. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Fire crews were called to a blaze at Bernard Matthews in Great Witchingham. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Archant

A number of production lines at Bernard Matthews will be diverted following a fire at the firm’s Norfolk headquarters.

Fire crews were called to a blaze at Bernard Matthews in Great Witchingham. Picture: Stuart AndersonFire crews were called to a blaze at Bernard Matthews in Great Witchingham. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Thirteen fire crews were called into tackle the late-night blaze, which was first discovered in a plant room at the site off Hall Road in Great Witchingham.

No-one was hurt in the fire, which was reported at 11.45pm on Saturday, August 22.

A spokesman from the poultry firm said an investigation into the incident would now be carried out.

The Bernard Matthews spokesman said: “We can confirm fire crews attended an incident in one of our buildings at our Great Witchingham poultry processing facility shortly after 11pm on August 22.#

Fire crews were called to a blaze at Bernard Matthews in Great Witchingham. Picture: Stuart AndersonFire crews were called to a blaze at Bernard Matthews in Great Witchingham. Picture: Stuart Anderson

MORE: 13 fire crews tackle blaze at Bernard Matthews
“A fire was discovered in our plant room, which is a separate building to the main production area.

“Thankfully the fire service responded promptly and managed to extinguish the fire quickly.

“No-one was injured and investigations will now begin to establish the fire’s cause.

“Production will recommence tomorrow [Monday], but a percentage of products will need to be diverted to other locations.

Bernard Matthews unveil a three-metre high statue of a Turkey Twizzler at Great Witchingham Hall in Norfolk as it makes a comeback after 15 years, Reign (aged 3) views the new statue. Picture: Jeff Spicer/PA WireBernard Matthews unveil a three-metre high statue of a Turkey Twizzler at Great Witchingham Hall in Norfolk as it makes a comeback after 15 years, Reign (aged 3) views the new statue. Picture: Jeff Spicer/PA Wire

“Supplies to customers should be unaffected.”

Crews from Carrow, Earlham, Stalham, Wroxham, Dereham, Sprowston, Long Stratton and Wymondham fire stations were among those called to the blaze, and several fire engines were still at the site at 9am the following morning.

Sarah Crane, a neighbour, said: “We knew that they were over the road at the fire hydrant. It was about 11.45pm.

“We heard them filling up with water. They were pretty back and forth through the night. The last time I heard something was at about 1.45am.

Bernard Matthews factory and Great Witchingham Hall.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYBernard Matthews factory and Great Witchingham Hall.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

“We didn’t smell anything or see any flames or anything like that. There wasn’t any commotion.”

Bernard Matthews was founded by the Norfolk man it is named after in 1950. It employs more than 2,000 people and works with 56 farms across Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire, farming almost seven million turkeys each year. The company was bought by the 2 Sisters Food Group in 2016.

MORE: Turkey Twizzler statue erected in Norfolk to celebrate comeback
Bernard Matthews made headlines earlier in August when the firm announced it was resuming production of Turkey Twizzlers, 15 years after celebrity chef Jamie Oliver had them banned from school dinners, with the product discontinued soon after.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Norwich Evening News. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Related articles

Norwich Evening News – Latest stories