Jacobs Douwe Egberts coffee factory fire sparks probe

By Noli Dinkovski contact

- Last updated on GMT

Banbury factory fire: crews were faced with a developing fire in a remote, elevated gantry
Banbury factory fire: crews were faced with a developing fire in a remote, elevated gantry
An investigation is ongoing into the cause of a fire at a coffee processing plant in Banbury that resulted in the callout of firefighters from three counties.

The fire, which broke out in a yard at the Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) site on 30 June, required the intervention of fire crews from Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Warwickshire.

There were no reported injuries and the site was operational again within 24 hours.

Firefighters were faced with a developing fire in a remote, elevated gantry, in an external area of the factory, according to Banbury Fire Station manager Mick Clarke.

The fire was near a high voltage power cable, meaning that power to the plant had to be isolated before firefighting could commence, he added.

‘No significant damage’

A JDE spokeswoman said the fire was quickly brought under control, adding that there was “no significant damage”​ onsite to the manufacturing plant. However, communication cables were damaged, affecting the research and development facility.

Clarke said crews from three counties and staff on site “worked hard”​ in challenging conditions to contain the incident.

“Ambient temperatures of around 28o​C meant it was necessary to maintain a large presence of personnel, to ensure that we had enough resilience to bring the incident to a successful conclusion,” ​he explained.

“Firefighters initially used special equipment to fight the fire from a distance, before moving closer to fight the blaze with hoses, once the power was isolated.

‘Crews in breathing apparatus’

“The high-reach aerial appliance was then used to check for hotspots and fire spread. Crews in breathing apparatus stopped the fire spreading into dry, waste material, while others checked for fire spread in the immediate area.”

The JDE spokeswoman said: “We would like to thank the local fire service for their fast actions and for how they worked closely with our incident team to minimise the fire and disruption to the site.

“We are now working closely with them to understand the cause.”

The latest incident is the third major fire to have occurred at the former Kraft/Mondelēz site in three years. Last May, crews from Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Northants fire stations were dispatched to put out a fire on an external roof platform​.

Meanwhile, in 2016, seven fire crews were called out after a fire started in one of the bean roasters​.

Related topics: Ambient foods

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