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Distribution Centre Sprinkler Activation Widness

26 July 2022 @ 1:02 pm

Image courtesy of Hall & Kay Fire Engineering

  • Fire Rescue Service; Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service
  • Incident; Articulated trailer lorry fire
  • When; 26 July 2022
  • Time of call; 13:02
  • Where, Desoto Road, Widnes
  • Occupancy; Distribution Centre
  • Type of premises; Warehouse
  • Automatic fire suppression System; Fire Sprinklers

Hall & Key Engineering have reported the above-mentioned incident resulting in the activation of the premises commercial sprinkler system


  • 5 x Pump fire with pumping appliances attending from Widnes, Runcorn, Penketh and Warrington
  • Chiller trailer section of an articulated lorry caught light, causing superficial fire damage to one of the loading bays with smoke from the fire spreading within the premises.
  • The emergency plan was implemented, with no injuries reported
  • Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the fire using main jets/hose reels
  • To prevent the fire spreading within the premises operational crews repositioned the trailer away from the façade of the warehouse
  • High pressure fan assisted in clearing the smoke from the incident.

Sprinkler System

  • The premises loading bays were protected by a sprinkler system which successfully activated
  • 3x Sprinkler heads actuated containing/controlling the fire preventing the fire from spreading within to the premises

Benefits of the premises sprinkler system

  • Contained/controlled the fire from spreading to the façade of the premises, preventing internal fire spread within the building
  • Rapidly reducing the rate of production of heat and smoke allowing the fire service crucial time to implement their operational tactical plan
  • Allowing firefighters in carrying out search and rescue operations by limiting fire development, which significantly reduces the risks to firefighters.
  • Integrity of the means of escape, maintained

Business Continuity

  • This incident clearly demonstrates the importance of protecting warehouse loading bays with commercial sprinkler systems.
  • Preventing a minor small fire from accelerating into a major fire with only minor disruption to the business
  • Firefighters were able to leave the scene around 16:30


  • These incidents are becoming more frequent involving tractor units catching light
  • The potential high fire loading of these units cannot be discounted
  • The importance of risk assessing at the design stage for fire sprinkler coverage in these locations cannot be underestimated



26 July 2022
1:02 pm


Location (Town/City)
Type of Sprinkler Installation
Wet Pipe pipe system