Fire crews from four counties required to control East Midlands fire
Another two businesses are counting the cost and damage of a destructive fire which destroyed their premises on the Earltrees industrial estate in Corby, Northamptonshire. At its height, the blaze required fire crews from across four counties but despite controlling the fire, they could not save the unsprinklered building.
In the early hours of April 25th, fire crews from Northampton Fire and Rescue Service were called to a major fire in a warehouse unit which housed two businesses. At the height of the fire, there were nine fire engines tackling the flames with appliances from Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire also attending. The fire sent plumes of toxic black smoke across Corby. Despite the multi-agency response which prevented the fire from spreading to other buildings, the fire and rescue service were unable to save the building which was largely destroyed.
While staff escaped the blaze unharmed, the impact on the local community and environment was significant, with local road closures, and a number of measures employed to minimise the impact of pollution to the local environment.
The multi-agency response and a significant number of firefighters and resources were unable to save this modestly sized building which had a footprint of no more than 2,000m2. The building did not have the benefit of an automatic sprinkler system. Many would be surprised given the impact of the fire to learn that such buildings are not required to have them.
Preventing large costly fires is possible through a combination of strategies. One of the most effective methods is the use of sprinkler systems which contain and control fires before the Fire and Rescue Service arrives. They, therefore, minimise the wider impact of unmanageable fires, reducing costs to business and the economy as a whole. Importantly, by limiting any fire damage, they allow businesses to resume operations quickly, often within hours of the incident.
For more information about the BSA visit the www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org
By Iain Cox, Chair Business Sprinkler Alliance