Surrey firefighter describes attending ‘huge’ Ocado warehouse fire in Andover to ‘eliminate explosion risk’

February 8, 2019
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A Surrey firefighter has described attending a “huge” fire at an Ocado warehouse that stayed ablaze for more than 48 hours.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) sent crews from both Leatherhead and Guildford fire station to the fire at Walworth Business Park in Andover.

Starting in the early hours of Tuesday (February 5), operations – led by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) – continued until Thursday (February 7).

An evacuation zone was put in place for residents from Wednesday (February 6) until Thursday morning (February 7).

Nobody was injured in the major incident, which occurred in a robot-run automated Ocado warehouse.

Plumes of black smoke could be seen pouring from the building for “many miles”, with the job of fighting the fire being made more complicated by the need to safely remove toxic chemicals from the area.


A water carrier from Guildford fire station was initially called to the scene on Wednesday (February 6), with Leatherhead fire station joining soon after.

Roughly 200 firefighters tackled the blaze in total – from a number of differing services.

Leatherhead fire station assisted through providing its 42 metre Aerial Ladder Platform – one of the tallest available – to allow other firefighters to “eliminate the risk of an explosion from pressurised storage tanks”.

Speaking to Surrey Live on Thursday (February 7), a firefighter for the station described working at the scene.

 

He said: “We were initially deployed at the rear of the fire. We didn’t make inroads into it because the fire escalated.

“We were then deployed to an adjacent car park where we again set up and tried to firefight.

“Due to the severity of the fire we were pulled out of that risk area and then there was an evacuation that happened.”

The firefighters were evacuated to a recycling site that was about a quarter of a mile away from the warehouse itself.

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“It was huge, it wasn’t just a little bit of it [the building], it was fully on fire,” added the Leatherhead firefighter.

Fire crews from HFRS remained at the scene on Thursday evening (February 7), sharing footage online of the “devastating aftermath” at the warehouse.

Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/surrey-firefighter-describes-attending-huge-15799747


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