Sprinklers Stop Fire: Loading Canopy, St Helens, Merseyside

Glen Thomas from Merseyside F&RS reports that at 23:34 hours on Friday 25th April a serious fire occurred at a large (50,000m²) distribution warehouse in St Helens.

A 26 Tonne refrigerated LGV was parked under a covered loading bay when ignition occurred within the truck.  Merseyside F&RS mobilised two appliances with 9 crew members to deal with the incident.

The fire caused 50% damage to the vehicle and 5% damage to the canopy but the situation would have been much worse had it not been for the operation of the sprinkler system, which, in addition to protecting the main building, also covered the loading bay areas.

The system suppressed the fire to such an extent that crews were able to bring the incident under control and the warehouse was fully operational within 2 hours of the start of the fire. It is reported that 21 heads needed replacement on the Ordinary Hazard, tank fed sprinkler installation. None of the 50 occupants were reported as being hurt as a result of the fire.

The actual cause of fire is still being investigated but is thought at this stage to be of electrical origin.

The Health & Safety manager was recalled to the premises from home and was said to be very impressed by the suppression system and its ability to control the situation.

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