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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Sprinklers Avert Major Factory Blaze

Sprinklers have saved the day at a factory in Lichfield when a large industrial press accidentally set on fire in the early hours of this morning.

"We would probably still be there dealing the fire now had the sprinklers not been in use."

Station Manager, Mick Jahn

Approximately 50 staff were evacuated from IMI Norgen on Eastern Avenue at 1.40am this morning. Two crews from Lichfield and crews from Chase Terrace, Tamworth, Barton-under-Needwood, Cannock and the aerial ladder platform from Burton were called to deal with the incident. 

Station Manager, Mick Jahn said: "The sprinklers operated which quickly confined the fire to the machine itself and did not spread. It also allowed all of the staff in the building at the time to quickly and safely evacuate.

"The activation of the sprinklers meant we were able to quickly bring the fire under control and allow some of the appliances to leave the incident, so they were available for other emergencies. We would probably still be there dealing the fire now had the sprinklers not been in use.

"The damage has been limited to the machinery and some slight heat damage to the roof directly above. Once the fire was out, we used hose reel jets to cool the machinery and then ventilated the factory.

"We’d urge all businesses to fit sprinkler systems, there are misconceptions that should there be a fire several sprinklers will operate, this isn’t the case they will only operate where the fire is located. As this incident has highlighted they do prevent the spread of fires, and so minimise the economic cost of a fire - which is even more important during these difficult financial times."

The incident was closed at 3.50am.