Southampton retail store: 31st March 2017

Marks and Spencer in the West Quay shopping centre had a lucky escape when the sprinkler system kicked in after a fire started.

The fire broke out in a row of industrial refrigerators, damaging two items.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue said that without the sprinkler system safety feature the entire row of 20 products would have probably been destroyed in addition to potential damage to other stock and a possible costly closure to the store.

The fire broke out inside a refrigerator in the store’s food hall at on New Years’ Eve last year and involved five engines, specialist vehicles and about 25 firefighters from across the county.

Four sets of breathing apparatus, two hoses and tactical ventilation was used to battle the blaze which was extinguished in a little less than an hour. GM Deacon said this could have been much worse if the store did not have an effective sprinkler system in place.

M&S declined to comment.

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