Wiltshire Publications

Issue 436 – Fire guts bed factory

A fire service investigation has revealed that the fire at a furniture factory on a Westbury trading estate was caused by sparks from an angle grinder that was being used inside the warehouse.
At around 3.00pm on Thursday 14th May, the Sleepcraft furniture factory on the Brook Lane Industrial Estate was engulfed by an inferno that, at its height, took the efforts of 35 firefighters to control.
Due to the highly combustible content and layout of the open plan warehouse, the fire was able to quickly spread.
“It was completely accidental,” said a fire service spokesperson.
Eyewitness Gail Greatwood, of nearby business Rapid Recovery, said, “We were first alerted when we heard a big rumble and a big crash, which was the metal roller doors which had blown off. There was metal up in the air and flying all over the place.”
Gail, her husband Rob and his father Mike Greatwood ran to the warehouse, arriving as its three occupants were making their escape. Gail said, “As we got there the two guys were coming out of the workshop and all you could see was flames and smoke in there. Obviously they looked well shook up.”
Beneath a plume of dark smoke Rob and Mike Greatwood helped the fire brigade to move a number of vehicles which were parked on the Sleepcraft forecourt. “You could feel the heat from inside our shutters doors and we are a good hundred metres away” added Gail. “They specialised in pine beds and I gather they had a lot varnishes in there, which is why it went up so quick”
Sleepcraft is run by brothers Andy and Dave Curry.
Gail said, “They’ve been there over 10 years. They are a well established company and were doing quite well. It must be a hell of a knock-back, I should think they are devastated.”
Five fire appliances, two water carriers, an aerial unit from Salisbury and an incident control unit from Devizes were used during the incident.