Congleton medial supplies company: 16th February 2017

Sprinkler save at Congleton medical production facility : Thursday 16th February 2017

The boss of a medical firm today praised a sprinkler system which saved his business from ruin after an electrical fire at about 03:00 in the morning. The depot at Congleton-based Reliance Medical Limited, which manufactures products such as dressings and first aid kits suffered a fire in the early hours of the morning.

Thankfully, the sprinkler system operated to assist the F&RS crews, protecting an estimated £2 million in stock and the entire building. Instead there is reported to be smoke and water damaged stock totalling about £500,000.The building and the business was saved.

A fire investigation is being carried out by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and initial thoughts are that the cause is electrical. Fire-fighting operations were reported to have reduced by 0730hrs.

Andy Pear, managing director of Reliance Medical Limited, said: “If it was not for the sprinkler system, and the speedy and professional response of Cheshire Fire and Rescue, this would have been a disaster.“I was called at 0300hrs by one of my key holders. Ten fire engines attended the incident. I had never seen them at work before, but I was so impressed by how professional they were."

Andy is relieved that the intervention of the sprinklers and Cheshire F&RS prevented a total loss the factory should be up and running again next week.

“It is an unwanted problem, but is nothing we cannot deal with and thankfully has not been a disaster," he added. "We will be able to be open again from Monday and that is the real story that we have been saved by the sprinklers."

The fire service is urging businesses to have sprinklers installed due to how well they contain the flames.

Simon Gibbins, head of protection at Cheshire Fire and Rescue, said: “This building contained a huge amount of stock, with the company employing some 50 people. Thankfully, a sprinkler system contained the fire to one area which, although some stock was damaged, meant the majority of stock and the building were saved and will be back in operation within just a couple of days.

“Companies very rarely recover from a fire such as this, but the sprinkler system did its job and minimised the impact on the rest of the building, containing the flames to one area. Sprinklers work to suppress the flames and, although there was damage, the rest of the building escaped this fire. We would urge all business across the county to fit sprinklers in order to protect their business, their staff, customers and our fire-fighters. "

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