The fire at Atkinson’s Smoked Fish in the past week ripped through the roof of the building. The blaze was attended by up to 20 firefighters over 12 hours.
The building was described as being well alight when firefighters arrived at the scene.
Spokesman for Humberside fire and rescue Jonathan Clark told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “The cause and origin of the fire was considered accidental ignition by our fire investigation officer.
“High winds and ventilation [in the chimney] flared sawdust in the fire pit which spread to the wooden racking in one of the chimneys. There was no suggestion of foul play.”
Manager Nigel Ward discovered the fire after he heard a large bang and a crackling sound.
Speaking to local paper Grimsby Telegraph he said: “We heard noises coming from the smokehouse. No one was in there at the time but I went in to have a look,” he said.
“There were large flames in the smokehouse and obviously a lot of smoke so I went back to tell everyone. No one was hurt in the fire.”
Susceptible to accidents
Ward – who had been working at the site for the past 25 years – had experienced a fire at the business around 20 years earlier and said that smokehouses were susceptible to these kinds of accidents.
“It’s happened before and it has happened to many other smokehouses – unfortunately it is our turn now,” said Ward.
The company was founded in the 1930s and is one of the oldest traditional fish-smokers in Grimsby. It is one of a small number of traditional smokers legally allowed to call their fish Traditionally Smoked Great Grimsby Fish.
Meanwhile, a recent fire caused by a refrigeration unit at the premises of food logistics business CML & F was extinguished by two fire engines from Shropshire Fire and Rescue in the past month.