Lutterworth warehouse saved by sprinklers
A fire at a warehouse in Leicestershire was suppressed by an automatic sprinkler system, helping the fire service to extinguish the fire, preventing any further damage and allowing the business to be operational the following day.
The fire broke out in the storage area of the premises in Hudson Way, Magna Park at 9:30pm on Thursday, March 16th with four crews from the Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service attending the fire. The fire started in the storage rack system, but because the premises had sprinklers fitted the fire was contained. Therefore, what could have been a very large fire was in fact over quite quickly and was only a minor inconvenience.
The fire at Magna Park is in stark contrast to a fire in December 2021 at an unsprinklered, carpet warehouse in Kidderminster which had a very different outcome. The blaze on Hoo Farm Industrial Estate required more than 80 firefighters, 20 fire appliances from the Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service. It brought significant disruption to local businesses, road closures and forced the temporary closure of schools and a local college. While no one was injured, the business faces an uncertain future as it sought to relocate, employees face job relocations and environmental health is threatened.
Fire incidents tell us a lot about the challenges of such concentrated amounts of combustible storage, and the challenges to firefighting by the fire service to contain them without the early intervention of systems like sprinklers.
The contrast between two buildings with and without a sprinkler system in a fire can be quite stark. In the event of fire, many businesses with sprinkler systems suffer a minor interruption and find they’re back up-and-running in a matter of hours. Those without can see five-to-six times the damage and suffer longer spells of interruption.
Image Credit: Lutterworth Fire Station