Fire in industrial oven
Shortly after 1am on Saturday morning (26 March), workers at the factory evacuated the premises and alerted the fire service after noticing the fire in one of the large commercial ovens at the factory.
Three pumps from Hereford and one from Fownhope attended and eight teams of firefighters in breathing apparatus were involved in extinguishing the fire using one hose reel, four CO2 (carbon dioxide) extinguishers and 80 litres of firefighting foam along with a positive pressure ventilation fan to help clear the smoke.
The fire was brought under control by around 4am, with no one injured but substantial damage inside the oven.
Station Commander Neil Pigott said: "The fire had broken out inside a huge double-skinned industrial oven at the factory but due to the heat from the fire, the electronic means for opening the door of the oven was not functioning properly and so it was difficult to get into the oven to tackle the fire inside it.
"Firefighters in breathing apparatus helped cool the oven, and after about an hour working alongside site engineers from the factory, they managed to over-ride the safety cut-out mechanism and open the oven door. The fire was safely contained inside the oven, preventing further damage to the oven itself and the spread of fire to other areas of the factory."
Station Commander Pigott explained that a fire had broken out in the same oven in December 2010 and that fire safety advisors from H&WFRS would be working closely with the management at the factory to prevent any further incidents.