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Five-week wait before bakery back to normal

By West Briton  |  Posted: August 21, 2014

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MANAGERS at a pasty factory in Falmouth which was damaged by fire last month say it will take another five weeks before the bakery returns to full capacity.

Firefighters from across the county spent eight hours fighting the blaze at Rowe's Bakery on Bickland Water Road last month.

At one stage the roof of the 60m x 40m building began to collapse.

Within a week, according to marketing director Paul Pearce, production of Cornwall's national dish had been moved to its Penryn bakery, where the company makes its sweet breads, cakes and buns.

"It was a little bit of upheaval in moving to our Penryn site," said Mr Pearce.

"All staff affected by the fire have been redeployed and we have been selling our Cornish pasties since then. The shops haven't run dry."

He added that the company's wholesale customers outside of the county had suffered from a drop-off in supply, but they had been "really understanding".

Rowe's expects to be able move back into its Falmouth bakery by the end of September and return to full capacity.

Mr Pearce said: "We have now been able to assess the true extent of the damage and have a clear recovery plan in place for when the site will be back producing our much-loved pasties and savouries.

"The fire was contained to a small area at the back of the building, but damage was caused to the roof, building services, and holding freezer.

"After closer inspection by specialist teams, this damage is more complicated than we originally thought.

"We are currently able to carry out processing operations from the site, but we don't expect production to be up and running again until the end of September.

"The total project will be completed by the end of the year."

Eight fire engines arrived at the Falmouth bakery just after midnight on July 20 and crews fought the fire until 7.45am.

The operation involved firefighters from Falmouth, Helston, Redruth, Camborne, St Keverne, Newquay and Perranporth.

They were supported by the aerial ladder platform from Truro, the command support unit from St Just and a water carrier from Wadebridge, which all dealt with the fire.

The fire was found to have been caused by an electrical fault.

In a statement after the fire, Mr Pearce paid tribute to the firefighters who tackled the blaze, and confirmed no staff were hurt.

"Rowe's Bakery would like to express their gratitude to the fire crews who attended the incident," he said.

"Without their efforts the results could have been far worse."

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