Fire-hit Norwich business aiming for fast recovery

The general manager of a Norwich business that was destroyed by fire has said that the company hopes to be operational again within the next couple of weeks.

Edward Porter, of Broadland Hams on the Sweetbriar industrial estate in the north of the city, said he hoped they could be delivering products in some form to customers 'within a week or two'.

Yesterday he said that the company was already looking at two alternative premises and spoke of his desire to rebuild the Burnet Road factory, which was purpose built for the firm in 1986.

He said: 'We have got a photo album of the building built, and it is devastating to see it in the state it is now.'

Mr Porter said the fire service were on site until 4am, and revealed that he had just over one hours sleep.

He said: 'It has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. I am very sad it has happened but hopefully positive that we can get up and running as soon as we can.'

He also paid tribute to the customers and the staff, whose support had been 'overwhelming'.

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Yesterday the company's 25 staff voluntarily went to the site to remove the only salvageable stock, which was in the outside fridges, and transport it to alternative cold storage.

Among them was Paul Eggett, a butcher from Marlpit, Norwich.

Mr Eggett, 37, said: 'We're all quite close and it's like a big family, so we just turned up to see what we could do.'

On Wednesday the workers had to watch the flames and smoke consume the meat factory after raising the alarm at around 1.30pm.

Fire investigators believe the fire started in a cooking process area.

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