FIREFIGHTERS battled a blaze which broke out last night an industrial estate in Hailsham.

Two fire engines which were in Diplocks Way dealing with the fire have now left. East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) are dampening down 6,000 tonnes of metal scrap and moving them off the site. 

The team left the scene on Friday evening.

More than 50 firefighters battled the fire after the alarm was raised at 8.21pm on Wednesday night.

By 11pm, eight fire engines, two aerial ladder platforms, the high volume pump and water carrier were at the scene, along with the Command Support team.

An ESFRS spokesman said: "As there is still a large amount of smoke in the area, we are advising residents and business in the surrounding area to keep windows and doors closed.

"We have removed the closure at Diplocks Way for the next few hours but will be closing the road between 3pm until 8pm for rush hour to prevent heavy traffic driving over the main fire hose. 

"People are being urged not to come to the area unless they absolutely have to.

"We are being supported by Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, Sussex Police, South East Water, Wealden District Council and the Environment Agency."

H. Ripley and Co Ltd., the recycling and waste handling company affected by the fire have released the following statement: "“We unfortunately suffered a fire at our Hailsham site on Wednesday evening.

"The fire was confined to a steel scrap stockpile and controlled by rotating fire crews from the East Sussex, West Sussex and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service. 

"Due to the new development of the site, we were able to recycle water used by the pumps through our sealed drainage system to continuously resupply the fire pumps.

"All at H. Ripley and Co. Ltd. Would like to express our gratitude to those firefighters for their decisive and competent response. They do a great job.

"The Hailsham site will be closed for Thursday while we clean up, with normal business hours resuming on Friday.”

Locals were being urged to keep doors and windows closed as smoke spread in the area.

On Wednesday night more than 50 firefighters and officers worked to stop the fire spreading to nearby buildings.