Tyneside warehouse rescued from fire thanks to live saving sprinkler system

A commercial warehouse was saved from suffering significant damage after an automatic sprinkler system helped to extinguish a fire.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) have praised the life-saving system at a consumer giants Tyneside warehouse.

It comes after firefighters were called to a fire at the commercial warehouse building in Team Valley, Gateshead in December 2021.

Just before 12 noon on December 17th, TWFRS were notified that a fire had started involving a forklift truck within the confines of the warehouse building.

Firefighters from Gateshead and Swalwell Community Fire Stations were on the scene in a matter of minutes to assess the situation and extinguish the fire.

On arrival, it was clear that a propane gas powered forklift truck had caught fire next to some wooden pallets, causing a large scale fire on the premises.

But thankfully the warehouse had been fitted with an Automatic Fire Suppression Systems (AFSS) which activated sprinklers overhead and suppressed the fire before TWFRS’s arrival.

After a thorough check over the premises to ensure the fire was fully extinguished, the crews concluded that it was safe to enter and the clean-up of the water began.

And today (Friday), one of TWFRS’s senior officers, has praised the live saving equipment for being installed on the premises.

Group Manager Ian Bell, Head of Fire Safety at TWFRS, said “Without the sprinkler system, there would have been significant damage to the business, the contents of the warehouse, and a potential risk of injury to staff and firefighters.

“The propane cylinder for the forklift could have easily exploded if it had become involved in the fire, causing significant damage to the building and would have accelerated the fire allowing it to spread rapidly.

“Fortunately this premises was fitted with the automatic sprinkler system which helped contain and extinguish the fire before we arrived.

“Sprinklers play a major role in fire safety in large commercial premises like this, they reduce the likelihood of injuries to staff and the amount of damage to properties.

“This company had taken the steps to have the system installed and maintained, as it prevented a major fire that could have put lives at risk including the potential impact this could have had on neighbouring premises.

“I would also like to thank the firefighters for their hard work in dealing with this incident, whilst also assisting the business to get back to business as usual in a timely manner”

To find more information about sprinklers, visit the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) website.