Fire caused by electrical fan at food packaging plant

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

The fire at the Huhtamaki food packaging factory was traced to an electrical fan
The fire at the Huhtamaki food packaging factory was traced to an electrical fan
A fire at an Huhtamaki food packaging factory in the Hampshire area last week has been traced to an electrical fan.

The blaze ­­– which occurred at the factory in Gosport on May 5 – involved an electrical roof fan. To combat the blaze Gosport and Fareham fire and rescue services deployed two firefighting water jets and two firefighters in breathing apparatus.

Two 135 ladders were also used to extinguish the fire, along with the help of an arial ldder platform. No-one was injured in the blaze.

A spokesman from Hampshire Fire and Rescue told “fire investigation weren’t requested as the cause wasn’t suspicious”.

‘The cause wasn’t suspicious’

Huhtamaki declined to comment on the fire.

The multinational business produces packaging for food and beverages, including fresh foods including fruit and eggs. It is also one of Gosport’s largest employers.

The company was founded in the 1920s by Finnish national Heikki Huhtamäki and operates 71 manufacturing units across 34 countries. Net sales for the business were about £2.1bn in 2015.

The business announced plans last month to increase production capacity in the UK to meet rising demand from the foodservice industry. The company planned to expand its Gosport plant, with a completion date set for March 2017.

​Significant investment is required’

Md Rosemary Mason said: “Over the past three years we have kept pace with the demand with investments in new state of the art machinery. It’s now reached the point, however, where a more significant investment is required.”

The image above is courtesy of Stephi Lou​.

Meanwhile, a fire at Atkinson’s Smoked Fish in Grimsby​ on May 3 devastated the site and took up to 20 firefighters 12 hours to battle the blaze.

The fire was started by accidental ignition, caused by high winds blowing sawdust that flared and set light to the wooden racking used to smoke the fish.

Manager Nigel Ward – who has worked at the factory for the past 20 years – said that smokehouses were susceptible to these kinds of accidents.

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