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Family to rebuild business after huge fire at Cauldon Lowe

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: June 26, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

The blaze which ripped through the site.

The blaze which ripped through the site.

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A FAMILY business hit by a huge blaze is hoping to get back into production in four weeks.

Dozens of firefighters from across the Staffordshire Moorlands and Stoke-on-Trent were called to the PH Winterton & Son factory on Ellastone Road, Cauldon Lowe, on Sunday June 15.

The company supplies bulk sawdust and shavings for equestrian, cattle and poultry bedding. It moved to the current Cauldon Lowe site in 2008.

At its height, a total of 11 appliances were at the scene.

Firefighters then worked in relief crews until Thursday lunchtime when the incident was finally closed down.

It is estimated that the fire caused around £750,000 worth of damage.

When crews arrived, an area of the factory measuring 10 metres by 40 metres was well alight.

The fire then spread to a nearby shed.

The fire destroyed the process unit, office space, machinery and one lorry.

Partner Gary Moores said the family were overwhelmed by the support they had received from local residents and businesses.

Mr Moores said: "We are still open for business.

"We would like to thank everyone for all the offers of help.

"These have come from local people, suppliers and customers who have all offered their services free of charge.

"We now want to reassure people that we are still open for business as we had stocks at other locations.

"People have offered plant and machinery to enable us to get into production as quickly as possible.

"We now got people coming to help with the sheds. We hope to have a line running in four weeks and a second in eight weeks.

"The main problem at the time of the fire was water.

"There was not enough water to stop the fire spreading as there were no fire hydrants or rivers nearby.

"It is a big lesson to businesses in rural locations to make sure you have water tanks.

"We will be installing tanks when we are up and running."

The incident is thought to have started in a dust extraction unit at the single storey building.

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