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70 firefighters battle to control latest mill blaze
10:00am Sunday 9th September 2012 in News
SEVENTY firefighters from across Gloucestershire and Worcestershire battled for eight hours to control a fire near Winchcombe over the weekend.
Crews were called to the blaze at the Hollingsworth and Vose factory, Postlip Mill, shortly after 2pm on Saturday after the fire spread to machinery and into the roof space.
Five crews were initially called to attend but it was soon clear after arrival that more resources were required.
Further crews including those from Chipping Campden, Stow, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury were also called.
A Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue service spokesman said: “Crews with specialist equipment had to cut into sections of the building and significant amounts of the roof to prevent the fire spreading.
“An aerial ladder platform was used to gain access to roof areas to prevent further spread of fire. The incident was further hampered by chemicals used in the processes within the factory.
“Essential environmental measures were undertaken by the fire service in conjunction with the environmental agency and staff at the Mills to successfully ensure minimal impact to both the personnel and surrounding area.
“The 70 firefighters and senior officers involved were successful in minimising the damage to the mill which will enable the business to maintain key operations and resume normal operations within the next few days.”
An investigation has now begun into the cause of the fire.
This is the third fire in four years to break out at the mill.
In April 2008, seven crews were called to a fire in a chimney duct. No serious damage was caused.
About 100 workers had to be evacuated in April 2010 when a small fire broke out in the roof. The blaze caused minimal damage.