Cheese warehouse collapses after fierce blaze

Adams Cheese Factory FireMore than 100 firefighters tackled a blaze at a dairy warehouse – one of the biggest fires Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service has attended in years.

Firefighters responded to a call from an alarm receiving centre to the fire at Adams Foods in Wincanton at around 10.15pm on Tuesday 20 September. At its height 10 crews were tackling the fire at the 4,800 sq m building.

The fire spread across the entire roof level of the building, forcing firefighters to withdraw to a safe distance. Residents nearby were told to keep windows and doors closed.

At around 6.30am the following day the incident was scaled down to three fire engines, an aerial ladder platform and one water carrier, as the building finally collapsed.

Crews remained on the scene until the following evening (22 September) damping down hot spots.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said the blaze was ‘one of the biggest incidents’ it had seen in a number of years.

A number of people who were at the warehouse when the fire broke out escaped without injury. The effect on production is believed to have been minimal, as the warehouse was a separate building used for storage.

Ian Toal, chief executive of Adams Foods, which produces brands such as Pilgrim’s Choice and Kerrygold, said:

“The fire brigade acted swiftly and did a superb job of putting the fire out and we are just relieved that all fire evacuation procedures were carried out quickly and that no one was hurt.”

An investigation into the fire is underway.

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