Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
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Incident Date: 03 December 2015
SPRINKLERS saved a mill in Bury from going up in flames after a fire broke out in the middle of the night.
Fire crews from Bury, Heywood and Whitefield fire stations were called to Walshaw Road at 1.06am on Thursday, December 3.
Night workers at the mill called Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) after they discovered a fire involving bales of cotton on the first floor of the two-storey building.
Luckily, sprinklers activated and supressed the fire immediately – dramatically reducing the damage inside and preventing the whole mill from going up in flames.
Watch Manager Gary Stredder, from Bury Community Fire Station, said: “The sprinklers did their job and supressed the fire – without the sprinklers the fire would have broken through the roof and we would have been dealing with a very serious incident.
“The workmen were alerted to the fire after they noticed water coming through the ceiling – they went up to the first floor to investigate and were beaten back by heavy smoke.
“When we arrived the first floor was heavily smoke-logged so crews in breathing equipment entered and were faced with quite a challenging task of trying to locate the fire, which was still smouldering underneath.
“Once we located the fire we were then able to use hose reels to fully extinguish it and used positive pressure ventilation fans to clear the smoke so the building was saved but that was mainly due to the sprinklers.”
Nobody was injured and the cause of the fire is subject to a joint investigation between GMFRS and Greater Manchester Police.
Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor David Acton, said: “Around 85 per cent of small and medium sized businesses that suffer a serious fire either never recover or cease trading within 18 months. But having sprinklers could prevent this.
“Sprinklers attack a fire quickly and directly so less water is needed and they also operate the fire alarm.
“If there is a fire in your home or business, water from one or two sprinklers is a small price to pay for saving a building, its contents or even a life.”
For further information about sprinklers, please visit http://manchesterfire.gov.uk/fire_safety_advice/think_sprinkler.aspx