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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Sprinkler system minimises damage at Amazon

14/11/2016

Firefighters have praised Amazon for installing a potentially life-saving sprinkler system which helped to supress a blaze at its Rugeley site.

"However, the consequences could have been far more serious if the sprinkler system had not been in place. At the very least, the financial cost in terms of loss of stock, productivity and damage to the building would have been far worse but, even more worryingly people may have been injured or even killed."

Fire Engineer Stuart Ruckledge

The Service said that the safety equipment activated immediately when it detected heat from the fire, quickly putting the flames out.

Vitally, such systems can save lives when emergencies occur but they also have the added benefit of ensuring minimal damage is caused to buildings.

Fire Engineer Stuart Ruckledge said: "This was quite a severe incident which involved three separate seats of fire, one on each floor, at a time when Amazon employees were working in the building. As with any incident such as this, it was extremely distressing for members of staff and it is particularly hard to bear now that it has been revealed that the cause was deliberate ignition.

"However, the consequences could have been far more serious if the sprinkler system had not been in place. At the very least, the financial cost in terms of loss of stock, productivity and damage to the building would have been far worse but, even more worryingly people may have been injured or even killed.

"This fire just goes to show how important sprinkler systems are in helping to minimise the damage that blazes can reap and how businesses, in particular, can benefit immensely from investing in one. This is extremely pertinent in the case of Amazon in the run up to Christmas - its busiest time of year – when it helps to boost local employment, and therefore the economy, by taking on extra members of staff. We will work with Amazon to provide support and to advise on its business continuity plan."

Six crews from Rugeley, Cannock, Lichfield, Chase Terrace and Abbots Bromley attended the incident at Grazeley Park, Lea Hall Way yesterday. The first appliance arrived on the scene at 2.19am and the last appliance left at 11.21am.

At the peak of the blaze, four firefighters wore breathing apparatus and used two hose reel jets to tackle the incident.