‘Total devastation’ caused to Dowty Propellers

‘Total devastation’ was caused to the Dowty Propellers factory in Staverton this morning, in one of the biggest fires Gloucestershire has ever seen.

Chief Fire Officer, Stewart Edgar, said the blaze was one of the largest he had ever seen in his 25 year career.

Workers being turned away from the factory looked shocked to see the gutted manufacturing plant following the overnight blaze.

The county’s chief fire officer, Stewart Edgar said the fire ripped through the whole roof within 20 minutes and praised the efforts of the firefighters working in freezing temperatures throughout the night.

 “I have been in the fire service for 25 years and I have seen many fires,” he said.

“This is about as largest scene of a fire I have seen. This was a major fire in Gloucestershire.

 “The complete building is devastated by fire and we are speaking to the key staff from Dowty, but in terms of the pictures from here – it is total devastation of the factory.

: “Our firefighters have battled in sub-zero temperatures to deal with this major fire.

 “Firefighters from all over the county worked tirelessly under my command and will be there for the foreseeable future. Rest assured, the fire is well under control.

“I need to thank my firefighters for their sterling efforts and we will now be focussing our efforts on identifying the cause of the fire.”

One worker, who did not wish to be named, turned up to work this morning despite hearing about the blaze and was sent away.

 He said: “I heard there had been a fire, but never did I expect it to be as bad as it was. It looks completely gutted and I can only imagine how long it is going to be before we can get working again.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if it needs completely rebuilding. It is gutting. I’ve worked here for a few years now and it is a great place to work.

 “They did the factory up not long ago and I think they had invested about £1 million in doing so.

“Dowty has always been a major employer in Gloucestershire and I think we are just all pleased no one was hurt.

“Whether we can be relocated to the other sites – I am not sure. I guess it is just wait and see.”

Firefighters managed to save the offices attach to the factory and surrounding buildings after the fire, which broke out at around 12.30am.

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