Rugeley distribution centre: 9th November 2017

On Saturday 9th November 2017 at 1215, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service attended a fire at Amazon Services Ltd, Leahall Way, Grazeley Park, Rugeley, WS15 1UX. This is a storage facility of 63,000sqm and is 16m in height. The fire was located in the picking tower, an area of the warehouse which has 10m high steel racking. Between the racking, walkways have been installed to form four floors including ground to allow pickers access to each level. There is a small gap between the walkway and the racking system.

The building has 75 VESDA detectors and an automatic fire sprinkler system directly above each walkway and in the roof which is approximately 6m above the top of the racking. The fire was located in the racking at level P3 and had spread upwards to the top level P4.

Four appliances attended and BA crews found heavy smoke logging throughout the pick tower and 4 sprinkler heads activating, 1 on the P3 and 3 at roof level. These were all directly above each other and contained the fire preventing horizontal spread. Due to size of the building and smoke logging 4 appliances attended to assist with emptying the affected shelving and damping down. A total of 6 BA wearers were deployed during the incident using 3 portable fire extinguishers to extinguish the fire.

The sprinklers prevented the fire spreading and kept the damage to approximately 2% of the total stock costs and allowed 100% of the business to resume after 42 hours. Sales were transferred to other UK distribution centres during that time which has saved Christmas for millions of customers

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