Fire at food factory under control

The Katsouris food preparation plant


A fire at a ready meal factory in Alperton has been brought under control after a blaze took hold in the bakery.

The Katsouris food preparation plant, which supplies ready meals to supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda, caught fire in the early hours of the morning and the blaze soon spread around the building.

A contractor who was part of a team making alterations to the factory said that once the alarm was raised the building was evacuated.

Alan Walker said: "The fire alarm went off and we were told to get out.

"From outside I saw flames coming out of the roof. It's going to be a write-off."

Staff have been reassigned to continue working at the company's other three factories on the Abbeydale Estate, which is on the outskirts of Park Royal.

Firefighters have remained on site to extinguish any small flames at the damaged plant and smoke continues to billow out of the roof, suggesting it has been badly damaged.

No one is thought to have been injured in the fire, but Paul Scott, a contractor from Stevens Weighing Machines, who was working the building when the fire broke out, said that lots of expensive equipment is likely to have been damaged or destroyed.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "This was a major accident at work. The circumstances are not yet fully known.

"Fires at work can be a hazard both to workers and to local residents. Anyone injured by such a fire may be entitled to claim compensation."

Mr Urpeth represented over 75 workers and many residents who were injured in the 2001 blast at the Killingholme refinery when over 170 tonnes of liquid petroleum gas caught fire. Conoco-Phillips, who owned the plant, was eventually fined £1m for breaching health and safety regulations after the explosion at its Humber refinery.