Friday, 19 April, 2019

Fire service likely to be tackling Ocado blaze for days

Fire at the Ocado warehouse in Andover Hampshire Fire at the Ocado warehouse in Andover Hampshire Credit Ringwood Fire Station
Priscilla Morrison | 10 February, 2019, 16:14

A huge blaze at the Ocado warehouse in Hampshire which stretched over four days has come to an end.

The blaze began Tuesday morning in the 45-million pound ($58 million) automated facility in Andover, England, that manages as many as 70,000 orders a week.

'Once we have had time to assess the damage and prepare a plan to return the CFC (customer fulfilment centre) to operation we will update further as appropriate, ' an Ocado spokesman said.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said earlier roday that crews had brought the blaze under control, following it being declared a major incident last night.

Some homes 1.6km away from the site were due to be evacuated depending to the wind direction, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said.

Walworth Industrial Estate still remains under lockdown and a no go area to the public as many businesses have been forced to remain closed as the fire spread to the second building.

The removal of those materials has now been completed and the fire is no longer classified as a major incident, so local residents and workers have been able to access the affected area as normal.

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The online grocery giant said: "We apologise to all those affected by this incident and are very thankful to the people of Andover for their understanding and support during this hard period".

Part of the roof collapsed, but the firm confirmed no members of the Ocado team or the public were injured. "Thank you. Stay safe".

Ocado added that it was working to minimise disruption for customers by increasing capacity at its three other major United Kingdom facilities.

Ocado saw its share price fall more than 6% on Wednesday morning after news hit that one of its warehouses had caught fire, leading the company to issue a sales warning.

Ocado stressed it had comprehensive insurance for the property, stock and equipment and for business interruption losses.

Ocado said the hi-tech robotic warehouse in Andover provided around 10% of its current capacity and its shutdown means there will be a "constraint on our ability to meet our growing customer demand".

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