Dowty Propellers pledges to get back to business

The owners of a Gloucestershire warehouse which was ravaged by fire yesterday has pledged to get back to business.

Dowty Propellers has said it has “committed considerable resources to get the operation back up and running” following the blaze at Staverton.

The factory was gutted by what has been described as one of the county’s biggest fires.

Some 250 people worked at the Staverton site, which makes propellers for the C130J Super Hercules and the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400.

They were said to be reassured of the company’s commitment to them and the business at a meeting this morning.

Many were sent away from work yesterday morning after the blaze broke out just after midnight.

Firefighters managed to save the offices but the flames ripped through the roof of the factory in just 20 minutes, leaving part of the building destroyed in its wake.

In a statement released by GE Aviation, it stated: “Our teams are aggressively working around the clock to evaluate the facility and the impact on the business and our employees.

“At this stage it’s too early to say the cause of the fire. We are working closely with fire officials are leading the investigation and they will provide updates.

“We have formed many teams who are moving quickly to address every aspect of our operation.

“We are in close contact with our employees, customers, and regulatory authorities.

“We are evaluating other facilities in our network to engage as we move forward.

“We have committed considerable resources to get our operation back up and running.

“We are fully committed to limiting the disruption to our employees and our customers.”

The company said employees of Dowty were given information this morning and “re-assured of the company’s commitment to them and the business.”

The statement added: “We have teams aggressively working to evaluate the impact to our employees.

“The plant leaders have established a regular rhythm to keep all employees up to date.

“We are very grateful that no employees were injured and commend their actions to evacuate 29 employees on site at the time of the fire.”

Christine Starling from Unite the Union said before the meeting: “Everybody is devastated and in shock still. They called all employees twice yesterday and an executive has flown in from America.

“Dowty Propellers is a profitable and very unique business and I can’t see them not rising from the ashes – just hopefully that will be in this country.”

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At its peak some 80 firefighters from across Gloucestershire tackled the blaze.

Firefighters finally left the site at 9pm on Thursday night, but will be popping back to check hotspots.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service said investigations into the cause of the blaze were still ongoing.

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