Firefighters thank sprinklers for saving multi million pound factory

Picture courtesy of Henry Cawley

Josh Pennington, Reporter / 11:16 Friday 26 June 2015 / News

11:16 Friday 26 June 2015

FIREFIGHTERS fought through the night last week to tackle a blaze on Winsford Industrial Estate and have now credited a sprinkler system for helping save the multi million pound factory.

Mitras Automotives paint factory on Road One went up in flames just after 8pm on Tuesday, June 23, and eight fire crews worked to put out the fire throughout the night.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue has launched an investigation into the cause of the fire, but is labelling a sprinkler system as a main reason that millions of pounds worth of equipment was saved.

Keith Brooks, head of Protection and Prevention, said: “This factory contained highly flammable products which, if a fire had got to them, could have been disastrous. Thankfully, a sprinkler system contained the flames to an area involving a machine and ducting above.

“Companies very rarely recover from a fire such as this, but the sprinkler system did its job and minimised the impact on the rest of the building, containing the flames to one area.”

Crews were quickly on the scene and a team of firefighters in breathing apparatus worked inside the building to detect and extinguish the flames, which went from the machine and up through ducting affecting the roof.

Keith added: “Sprinklers work to suppress the flames and although the ducting above and the roof was damaged, the rest of the factory escaped this fire. We would urge all business across the county to fit sprinklers in order to protect their business, their staff, customers and our firefighters. ”

Mitras managing director Andrew Goodier said the factory will be reopening this week and without the sprinklers, it would have been out of business for two years.

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Mr Goodier said: “While manufacturing has been paused for one week to allow for rewiring etc, without the sprinkler system we would be talking two years, if not longer.

“I would encourage anyone in the manufacturing industry who doesn’t have sprinklers to think very carefully about what they would do in a situation like this, and how their business would survive a fire.

“We know the value of sprinklers here at Mitras. We are opening a new factory in Winsford very soon and have already fitted sprinklers as standard.”

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This comes after a fire involving machinery at Jiffy Packaging on Winsford Industrial Estate in February was also kept confined thanks to a sprinkler system.

The system which saved these two premises is a fixed pipe sprinkler system which runs through the premises, protecting the manufacturing areas. The head near to the fire breaks due to the heat, releasing a spray of water to limit the fire from spreading.

via Firefighters thank sprinklers for saving multi million pound factory (From Winsford Guardian).