skip to content

Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Sprinklers Save Trentham Factory


Sprinklers have saved a large factory from a potentially devastating fire yesterday morning.

"Thanks to the sprinklers business will be able to continue as usual today."

Group Manager, Stuart Claughton

A security guard at Autoneum on Stanley Matthews Way in Trentham spotted smoke on CCTV cameras at around 10.48am on Tuesday morning and went to investigate.

Shortly afterwards the fire alarm and sprinkler systems operated so the security guard called 999.

Five crews from Longton, Hanley and Newcastle attended the incident and on arrival were met with a heavily smoke logged factory.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the building with a hose reel jet and extinguished the remains of a small fire involving a fibreglass mould unit. The fire had been contained by the sprinklers.

Group Manager, Stuart Claughton said: “The fire started accidentally due to an electrical fault with the motor of a fan heating unit. Burning debris had fallen onto the mould unit, causing the fire to begin to develop further, however the sprinklers prevented any major fire damage.

“The factory had been closed down for New Year’s Day so there was no one inside at the time of the fire, however thanks to the sprinklers business will be able to continue as usual today.”

Maintenance Manager, Gary Podmore said: “The fire service were amazing, they were here within minutes and their work was faultless, they’ve been very supportive.

“We’re also having a follow up visit from the Fire Service to make sure everything is ok and answer any questions we might have, which I haven’t heard of any other Fire Services doing.
“Thankfully we’ve got a sprinkler system fitted so the fire was nowhere near as bad as it could have been and we’ve come away relatively unscathed.

“We’ve suffered some smoke and water damage however we were able to get a company in to clean up for us yesterday and operations have resumed as normal from 6am this morning.”

Firefighters left the scene at 1.40pm yesterday afternoon and will return to the factory as part of the Service’s After the Fire initiative later this week.