A major fire at the ASOS warehouse near Barnsley which involved four floors is believed to have been started deliberately. The incident could have been devastating for the Company had fire sprinklers not been installed and Fire officers say sprinklers were key to limiting the spread of the fire.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service have issued the following statement:
Fire broke out at the 60,000 square metre site on Park Spring Ring, Grimethorpe at around 10pm on Friday (20 June). Ten fire engines and more than 60 firefighters helped put out the fire, which is estimated have caused millions of pounds worth of damage in lost stock.
But the damage could have been even greater had the building not had a sprinkler system, with the fire service urging more businesses to invest sprinkler systems to protect their assets.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Head of Prevention and Protection Phil Shillito, said: “The fire suppression systems installed by ASOS were sophisticated, worked effectively and played a significant role in reducing the spread of the fire in its early stages.
“This was still a major fire and our firefighters did a tremendous job in tackling the blaze and bringing it under control so quickly. But there is no doubt that the sprinkler system in place greatly limited the damage, and probably saved the warehouse from being destroyed.”
Sprinklers are the most effective way to ensure that fires are suppressed or even extinguished before the fire service can arrive. They save lives and reduce injuries, protect firefighters who attend incidents and reduce the amount of damage to both property and the environment from fire.
Currently, only commercial premises greater than 20,000m2 must have sprinkler systems installed. The fire service, through the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA), is currently campaigning for this threshold to be lowered.
Share prices of ASOS had returned to their previous levels by midmorning of the first day’s trading after the incident.