Production of Rowe's pasties was halted this week following a major fire at its Falmouth factory, just days before the peak holiday season.
Crews from ten fire stations battled to bring the flames under control at the factory on the Bickland Industrial Park in Bickland Water Road, working through the night from into Saturday morning. The fire broke through the roof, which began to collapse.
The next morning smoke damage, peeling burnt paint and scorch marks could be seen on one side of the building, with soot stains at the front of the building after smoke poured from the roof space.
However, bosses at Rowe's Bakery have vowed to back producing pasties “within days,” adding that the damage could have been so much worse had it not been for the quick-thinking actions of the two members of staff on site when the fire took hold at just before midnight, and they raised the alarm.
Paul Pearce, director of marketing, said: “Fire service investigators have commended the efforts and quick thinking of Rowe's Bakery employees for their speed in raising the alarm and involvement throughout the evening in helping to tackle the blaze, without which the damage could have been far worse.
“As a business we are very proud of our work force and the unity shown in pulling together to ensure we are up and running as soon as we possibly can.”
Following an “extremely thorough” investigation by the fire service, it has been confirmed that the blaze was the result of an electrical fault and there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the start of the fire, with the fire also no fault of Rowe's.
It was isolated to a small section of the building, although some structural damage means certain areas are currently unsafe. The main production hall and main plant machinery have been left relatively unscathed, and it is this area that the company hopes to begin operating from again in the coming days.
Other areas, however, have some damage to ceiling tiles, with Mr Pearce saying extra care was needed here to ensure no one's life was put at risk.
“While we want to be up and running ASAP, health and safety is paramount. This is something we do not and will not compromise,” he added.
Shops carry an element of stock that should cover them for a number of days and contingency plans are in place.
“Our recovery plan is in full swing and we will be producing pasties again in the coming days, so ovens will remain full and shops open, which is very important going in to what is one of our peak trading periods of the year.”
Although the company's Penryn bakery normally produces the cakes, bread and buns, in the short term pasty production will also be moved there, with bosses already starting the process to get the factory into a position to do so.
“Much of the infrastructure is in place from when we previously produced pasties out of Penryn, so in a matter of days, pasties will be rolling off the production line again,” Mr Pearce explained.
He added: “I would like to say it's very humbling to see how in the face of adversity our colleagues have come together as a team and are pulling out all the stops to get us up and running again.
“We are a major employer in the Falmouth and Penryn area and we will do everything we possibly can to safeguard those jobs and continue to provide long term employment opportunities to the area.
“As a business we have been here for 65 years and we have every intention of being here for the next 65 years.”
Eight crews from Falmouth, Helston, Redruth, Camborne, St Keverne, Newquay and Perranporth, plus an aerial ladder platform from Truro and a command support unit from St Just were called out, with the operation support vehicle from Falmouth and a water carrier from Wadebridge also drafted in at the peak of the fire.
The incident was scaled down to three appliances at around 7.45am. Rowe's has spoken of its gratitude to the fire crews who attended the incident, saying: “Without their efforts the results could have been far worse.”