Saturday, 23 February, 2019

Booker deliveries disrupted following Ocado warehouse fire evacuation

EVACUATION Homes have been cleared after a massive fire at an Ocado warehouse EVACUATION Homes have been cleared after a massive fire at an Ocado warehouse
Ginger Lawrence | 10 February, 2019, 16:13

British online supermarket Ocado said on Thursday the fire service was expected to remain at its badly damaged complex in southern England for at least the next few days as they continue to bring the blaze under control.

The spokesperson continued: "The removal of these materials is now complete and the evacuation area has been removed, with local residents and workers now able to access the affected area as normal".

Ocado said the fire, which started in a corner of the ambient grid, has caused substantial damage to the majority of the building and its contents.

Ocado added it was working to minimise disruption for customers by increasing capacity at its three other major United Kingdom facilities in Hatfield, north of London, Erith, near the capital and Dordon in central England.

About 200 firefighters were involved in tackling the fire which broke out at 2:44am on February 5 and was declared a major incident on Wednesday.

A spokesman for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said the "stop message", which signals the end of an incident, came in at 6.36 a.m. (0636 GMT) on Tuesday. Part of the roof has also collapsed.

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Four firefighters were treated for minor smoke inhalation, but no Ocado staff were injured. These are the times when we take our hats off to the firefighters (and other experts) who tackle such scenes.

Ocado packs and delivers more than 30,000 customer orders a week at the warehouse in Andover which is powered by robots. Makes you truly appreciate the courageous men and women of the Fire Service!

The online grocer saw its shares tumble by 8% on Wednesday as it said it would see a fall in sales growth until it can shift operations to other warehouses.

Ocado stressed it has comprehensive insurance for the property, stock and equipment and for business interruption losses.

Ocado said the hi-tech robotic warehouse in Andover provided around 10% of its current capacity and its shutdown means there will be a "constraint on our ability to meet our growing customer demand".