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GEA Searle staff able to return to refrigeration equipment factory after Wednesday night blaze

Firefighters’ actions ‘save £2 million worth of stock’ and allows workers to returna to the Fareham site after just 24 hours

The work of 14 different fire services in the Hampshire region in tackling a huge blaze at coolers to condensers firm GEA Searle’s factory on Wednesday night saved millions of pounds’ worth of stock, according to Hampshire Fire and Rescue. Remarkably, despite the scale of the fire, workers at Searle were able to start returning to work today (Friday).

Hampshire Fire and Rescue area manager Steve Foye told Porstmouth paper the News : ‘Our firefighters performed extremely well, and their hard work managed to contain the well-developed fire. These actions meant that the fire was contained, protecting nearby buildings and saving in the region of £2m worth of stock for the business.This was particularly impressive as the fire was especially challenging due to its ferocity and the presence of a number of gas cylinders, some of which exploded.’

According to local reports, the cause of the fire on the 50-year-old site is not yet known although it appears to have started in the research and development department and spread to the final assembly building.

Local neighbour Coolers and Condensers, which has several ex-Searle staff working for it, is among those which has offered assistance to the manufacturer.

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