Devastating fire destroys warehouse storing fabric used for NHS workwear

A fire raged through a warehouse in Lancashire requiring eight fire engines and an aerial platform to tackle the blaze at its height. Lancashire Fire and Rescue Services confirmed the fire, which took place on April 1st, completely destroyed a warehouse at the Pincroft factory site. The facility is used to store fabrics for Chorley-based manufacturer Carrington Textiles, which manufactures much-needed fabrics for NHS and healthcare workwear.

Neil Davey, Managing Director at Carrington Textiles said: “On the evening of Wednesday April 1, we experienced a fire which took place in the greige store at our UK factory, Pincroft. Firstly and, most importantly, we are pleased to confirm that none of our colleagues were involved and everybody remained safe throughout. The fire was confined to the greige store, which is housed in a separate building at the rear of the factory.”

No one was injured in the blaze in Adlington, and while it is fortunate the adjacent factory is now fully operational, the fabrics destroyed in the fire are in high demand by both the NHS and healthcare workers. Carrington has had to order replacement stock to be flown into the UK, ensuring they have sufficient raw materials to meet current demand. But the wider factors are the costs to business profitability and productivity – at a time when businesses globally are under increasing pressure.

Commenting on the fire, Iain Cox, Chair of the Business Sprinkler Alliance said: “Fire doesn’t discriminate and although the news headlines are about coronavirus, fire is still a threat and happen on a regular basis. It is regrettable that at a time when the NHS is in desperate need of equipment, a fire has damaged stock. However, it illustrates that a fire can happen at any time with an impact that can be much wider than anticipated. Whilst insurance will cover some costs, there are other costs that cannot be recuperated – and unfortunately in this instance it is the ability to make  much-needed fabrics for NHS and healthcare workwear.”

The fire in Adlington comes a little over a year after another blaze tore through a warehouse in the same town. That fire, in February 2019, destroyed three different businesses including a furniture storage facility, a paint shop and a metal recycling facility.

In order to prevent these costs to business, solutions such as sprinkler installations must be utilised to prevent fire in warehouses holding high levels of expensive stock. Sprinkler systems minimise the wider impact of unmanageable fires, reducing costs to business and the economy as a whole.