A SPRINKLER system installed at a building owned by Chippenham’s plastics manufacture Wavin was instrumental in saving the structure from being destroyed after a fire broke out.

Two fire crews from Chippenham and one from Corsham were called to Parsonage Way after reports of a fire on the first-floor mezzanine of a large storage building last Thursday at 1.36am.

The building, measuring 50m x 100m, had a sprinkler system installed which managed to control the blaze and stop it from spreading and doing serious damage while fire crews were on route.

Two hose reel jets and four breathing apparatus were then used to extinguish the remaining fire and clear smoke from the building within 30 minutes.

Watch manager at Chippenham Fire Station, Steve Lodge, who attended the scene believes that without the sprinkler system the damage to the building would have been much worse.

He said: “It was the sprinkler system that extinguished the fire, the sprinkler system acted and suppressed the fire.

“It’s like a smoke detector, it detects if there is smoke or heat and the way it works is you have pipe work throughout the building at various intervals.

“When it activates it sprays the pattern of a certain area.

“Generally premises carry out their own risk assessment but having a sprinkler system absolutely can me a huge difference, it can prevent a fire from spreading and suppresses it.

“The building was heavily smoke logged, initially a team of two with breathing apparatus were deployed with a hose reel jet and then another two breathing apparatus assisted to evaluate the building.”

The cause of the fire is still being investigated but not thought to be suspicious.

A fire had previously occurred at Wavin last year when 10 tonnes of packaged and palleted PVC caught fire.

The company declined to comment on the latest incident.

Head of fire safety at Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, Seth Why said: “Automatic sprinkler systems in both commercial and residential properties are one of, if not the best way to suppress a fire at the earliest opportunity, giving us valuable time to attend the scene and extinguish the fire.

“On this occasion the premises were able to return to normal business the following day.”