Fire-hit laundry firm ‘humbled’ by support

Tuesday 17th May 2022 7:00 am

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THE owners of a town business that was hit by a “devastating” blaze last week say they have been “humbled by the messages of support and offers of help”.

Clean Linen & Workwear’s Ross-on-Wye laundry on the Overross industrial estate was gutted by fire early on Monday morning, May 2, but the business says it is already back up and serving its customers thanks to help from their other sites

Around 60 firefighters fought to control the blaze at the Paragon premises near the Labels retail outlet after the alarm was raised shortly before 2am.

In a statement last week, a spokesperson for the business said it was “heartbreaking” for them and their “incredible employees”, but thankfully no one was hurt.

“We would like to reflect upon the tragic news over the weekend of the loss of our Ross-on-Wye Laundry to a devastating fire,” it said.

“We are incredibly grateful for the efforts by Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service fire crews and their colleagues from other fire and rescue services for preventing the blaze from spreading and for extinguishing the fire.

“Thankfully, and most importantly, no one was injured, but it is still heart-breaking news for everyone at CLEAN.

“All our efforts are now focused on supporting our employees and serving our customers.

“We have been humbled by the messages of support and offers of help from many of our customers, industry peers, suppliers and even other laundries offering their facilities.

“These offers of help although gratefully received, have not been required. Our brilliant team at Ross-on-Wye, working closely with colleagues at our other laundry sites started to implement our disaster recovery and contingency plans immediately in the early hours of Monday morning.

“We are pleased to say that because of their incredible efforts, hard work and dedication any disruption to customers will be temporary.

“In a short space of time all processing and production has now been transferred to other CLEAN laundries, and our Ross-on-Wye delivery fleet is already out delivering to customers.

“Although a large amount of linen and towelling was destroyed in the fire, the good news is that we have plenty of replacement stock available and on its way to our other sites.

“We would like to say a huge thank you to the entire Ross-on-Wye team plus all our incredible employees who have come together to make the best of a very testing time for everyone at CLEAN.”

Clean specialise in laundry services for the hospitality industry as well as linen and workwear rental, and reportedly employ more than 50 people.

The cause of the blaze was still being investigated last week and a fire service spokesperson said on Friday: “Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue is supporting an ongoing investigation by the insurers.”

Twelve fire engines and two aerial ladders were used to fight the blaze after the call-out at 1.53am.

Ade Farmer, group commander at Hereford and Worcester Fire Service, said local firefighters from Ross and other county stations were joined by crews from South Wales.

Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue posted a week last Monday: “Overnight there has been a large factory fire at Overross Industrial Estate in Ross-on-Wye where 10 HWFRS fire appliances, plus two from South Wales FRS and two aerial ladder platforms have been fighting the fire.

“Good progress has been made and now four appliances remain on scene damping down, with fire investigation officers working to establish the cause.”

Group Commander Farmer, who attended the incident as Hazmat Tactical Advisor, posted: ”Great effort from all crews especially the first pumps from @HWFireRoss who established a sound Incident Command structure.”

During the incident, the fire service advised people living nearby to close their doors and windows and avoid the area.

Residents reported seeing ash from the blaze in the town centre, Brampton and as far away as the Hope and Anchor pub at the riverside.

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