Firefighters thanked after blaze tackled at upmarket furniture firm

Firefighters thanked after blaze tackled at upmarket furniture firm

Firefighters thanked after blaze tackled at upmarket furniture firm

First published in News by , Senior reporter for Marlborough and Pewsey

Upmarket furniture firm OKA has paid tribute to firefighters after its Froxfield warehouse went up in flames.

Thirty firefighters tackled a blaze at the flagship store on the A4 on Thursday with crews from Hungerford and Ramsbury and a water carrier from Royal Wootton Bassett arriving first.

They were joined by two crews from Newbury and a crew from Marlborough with other relief crews arriving throughout the night.

Crews were reduced to two by midnight with the last crew staying until 11.45am the following day to help the fire investigation officer.

Group manager Iain Hunter, based at Wiltshire Fire Service headquarters in Devizes, said: “The building is L-shaped and there are double doors facing on to the road and that was the only area you could see fire from until those double doors were opened but there was a lot of smoke that went almost as far down as ground level and the wind blew it right across the village.

“The fire was dealt with and completely out within about three-and-a-half hours and then it was just dealing with hotspots.”

The fire affected the first floor and a mezzanine floor and 80 per cent of the building was damaged by smoke and a 20 per cent by fire.

An OKA spokesman said the seven employees who work at the Froxfield store were in no danger of losing their jobs, with some of them going over to work at its shop in Abingdon.

He said: “We are pleased to be able to confirm that no one was hurt or injured during this incident.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the emergency services and all of our staff at Froxfield for their quick response and cooperation during this difficult time.

"We look forward to getting Froxfield back on its feet and business returning to normal very soon.”

During the blaze the fire service asked Southern Electric to turn off the power at 20 nearby homes as a safety precaution. It was reinstated by 10.25pm.

The area where the building’s fuse boards are located was completely destroyed by the fire.

The cause of the blaze is being investigated fire experts, who are working with the electricity board and insurance company.

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