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Bedford oat mill blaze battled by firefighters

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By James Ridler+

Last updated on 16-Jun-2017 at 13:02 GMT2017-06-16T13:02:15Z

Firefighters tackled a fire at European Oat Millers this week (June 13)
Firefighters tackled a fire at European Oat Millers this week (June 13)

Firefighters battled a blaze that broke out at a food ingredients factory in Bedford this week (Tuesday June 13).

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service crews from the Bedford and Kempston stations were called to the incident at the European Oat Millers site on Mile Road at 23.42pm. The fire service posted about their attendance at the fire on Twitter (see below).

The fire started in a kiln on the third floor of the processing plant, which spread through the ducting and ventilation systems to the sixth floor. Crews contained the fire there, preventing it from spreading to the structure of the building.

The crews dismantled the ducting system and used breathing apparatus and jets to extinguish the fire. Thermal imaging cameras were also used, as well as an aerial platform.

‘Tricky fire to deal with’

Kempston station commander Derek Hobbs, who was at the incident, said: “This was a very tricky fire to deal with but the crews worked with the building staff to quickly identify the areas affected and bring the fire under control.  The Fire Service will be re-inspecting the building later today.”

European Oat Millers Md Alk Brand told that the incident was probably caused by smouldering, which occurred in one of its Kilns.

“We take the safety of our staff very seriously and followed our safety protocol which we are training our staff in. We therefore did evacuate and the fire brigade was called in,” said Brand. “When such an incident happens you have to take extreme caution which we have done.

‘Followed our safety protocol

“We are grateful for the efficient support of the Bedford Fire Brigade and the help of our dedicated staff to handle the matter so well.”

Founded in the early 1900s, European Oat Millers processes grains for use by food manufactures, including Oats, Wheat and Barley.

Meanwhile, last month fire crews battled a blaze at a coffee factory in Banbury.

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