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Remember this fire ?


middlec
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Which fire? There was the one when the Hydrogen Peroxide plant went up, and one when the original peroxide plane went up that was alongside the MSC.

The Fire brigade saw the fire as they were coming from town along Chester Rd. They were somewhat apprehensive.

On the first one, we got sent back home on arriving at the gatehouse. Walking down the road past the ruins of melted tanks the next day was eerie. Absolute silence.

 

I was working on the Organics plant at the time of both fires, but the first fire took all the services out. No steam, water or electric for a few days.

On the 2nd fire, the Fire Brigade used the MSC for water and the pumps were glowing they got that hot.

 

In the morning I went up Chester Rd to see what was happening and you could see 45 gallon drums flying up from the fire. Spectacular but dangerous for the fire fighters.

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Fantastic photo's Middlec, your's too Algy.

 

I remember Naylor's going up in flames but I didn't actually see it. What year was it can you remember ?

 

1st photo.... I wonder what thoughts were going through the mind of the lady sat on the step just to the left of the fire engine.

 

4th picture down... the police uniform made me smile as did their car, I forgot they used to be like that.

 

Bottom picture.. is it my imagination or was the canal bank lower and less steep in those days. I'm sure it probably wasn't but it looks like it was :unsure:

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Fantastic photo's Middlec, your's too Algy.

 

I remember Naylor's going up in flames but I didn't actually see it. What year was it can you remember ?

 

1st photo.... I wonder what thoughts were going through the mind of the lady sat on the step just to the left of the fire engine.

 

4th picture down... the police uniform made me smile as did their car, I forgot they used to be like that.

 

Bottom picture.. is it my imagination or was the canal bank lower and less steep in those days. I'm sure it probably wasn't but it looks like it was :unsure:

 

ViewfromChesterRoadswingbridgeJanuary2012.jpg

 

Hi Diz. Im not trying to take credit for anything, but I think algy's photo of Naylors fire is also one of mine that I took back in the 1980's! I have the series of negatives stored and indexed. They have been around once or twice over the years in one form or another, and I'm really chuffed that some still find them interesting. It was either 1983 or 84, but I didn't catalogue the precise date! Perhaps because I was a busy lad in those days! The ship canal bank did look a little different then, but I don't know whether it was any less steep. Here is a shot from Chester Road swingbridge I took two months ago as a comparison, showing the new houses and apartments on the site. Quite a big change to how it was thirty years ago. And swans on the canal! I don't remember seeing swans on the MSc back in those days, does anyone else?

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I definatly don't remember the Laportes fires and they both sound scarey :shock:

 

Whay years did they happen :unsure:

I remember only one of the Laportes fires, when there were a couple of explosions late evening that could be heard for miles around. That's what I heard and decided to investigate, but for safety reasons I was stopped from going anywhere near it to take photographs. I wish I had tried harder, because as far as I know and can remember there were very few photographs taken of the actual night time fire as it happened. Of course, taking photographs at night that would have been any good may have been a bit difficult anyway.

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middlec, I apologies if I have uploaded one of your photos, it came with the others that you had already displayed on a cd with other old photos of Warrington, I Have removed the photo.

Sorry again middlec.

Photo reinstated in previous reply at the request of middlec.

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middlec, I apologies if I have uploaded one of your photos, it came with the others that you had already displayed on a cd with other old photos of Warrington, I Have removed the photo.

Sorry again middlec.

Hi algy, no need to apologise, honestly. Just glad to think a pic of mine was worth posting here! Please consider reinstating it, as it ties in as a comparison with the more recent view of the canal from Chester Road swingbridge. Cheers.

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If it was the Laporte's fire, circa 1982, I was the senior police officer in attendance on the night. We evacuated nearby residents to a safe building, but received criticism cos the fire didn't turn out as serious as the fire brigade first thought. Big explosions were feared. Such is life.

 

Happy days

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If it was the Laporte's fire, circa 1982, I was the senior police officer in attendance on the night. We evacuated nearby residents to a safe building, but received criticism cos the fire didn't turn out as serious as the fire brigade first thought. Big explosions were feared. Such is life.

 

Happy days

Having had experience of chlorine evacuation procedures (never had to use them in anger thank God) better to err on the side of safety Harry.

 

Peter and Baz, sorry lads (seem to be apologising a lot on this post) got mixed up as to who worked at Laportes. I seem to remember two fires, one at the power station and one on the AO plant, or am I getting mixed up again?. I can't find this dratted photo of one of the fires though, on reflection I think I gave quite a few of them to my son as the Solvay management wanted to make a collage to present to one of the Solvay directors, must ask my lad. There are a couple of photos of some of the works staff on the deck of the the experimental submarine powered by hydrogen peroxide taken in the MSC my dad included, was it HMS Explorer?.

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I did a few weekends on there Algy when I was a young contracting electrician..... I never liked chemical plants as I was used to Kelloggs (I was there for 13 years on and off) but I did also work at Ciba Gigy in Trafford Park; where they made phenol..... now that is some nasty stuff!!

 

Funny enough, I get to go back to Solvay quite a lot these days. I was on Warrington just before Christmas and I was at the plant in Northwich only last Thursday!

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I did a few weekends on there Algy when I was a young contracting electrician..... I never liked chemical plants as I was used to Kelloggs (I was there for 13 years on and off) but I did also work at Ciba Gigy in Trafford Park; where they made phenol..... now that is some nasty stuff!!

 

Funny enough, I get to go back to Solvay quite a lot these days. I was on Warrington just before Christmas and I was at the plant in Northwich only last Thursday!

 

We handled some nasty products/by-products at ICI, here are some of the chemicals either used or produced acros the Runcorn Site:-

 

Hydrofluoric acid, Phosgene, Bromochlorodifluoromethane, Phenol, Sodium Hydroxide, Hydrogen, Methyl-chloride, Chlorine - Gaseous and liquid, Sodium, Sodium-hypochlorite, Perborate, Acetylene, Sulphuric acid, Sulphur-dioxide, Sulphur-trioxide. Carbon-tetrachloride, Hydrochloric acid, Cyclohexanol, Fluorothane, Liquid Oxygen , Ethylene, Mercury, Vinyl chloride. Plus a range of CFC refrigerants. I'm sure there are many more that I have forgotten, and because I have never smoked the doctor wonders why I am Asthmatic. :wink:

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Brings back memories Algy. Formic Acid was another nasty one. A splash of that took ages to heal. One thing was certain, you learned to respect the chemicals. Thinking back, there were 3 fires.

The AO was the first one. That was the one where people got evacuated, and quite rightly. The potential in those days was for an enormous explosion. Nowadays, it is covered by a lot of safety equipment.

The old AO was next, and the Boiler House some years later. All replaced by state of the art equipment.

Which part did your son work in?

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Brings back memories Algy. Formic Acid was another nasty one. A splash of that took ages to heal. One thing was certain, you learned to respect the chemicals. Thinking back, there were 3 fires.

The AO was the first one. That was the one where people got evacuated, and quite rightly. The potential in those days was for an enormous explosion. Nowadays, it is covered by a lot of safety equipment.

The old AO was next, and the Boiler House some years later. All replaced by state of the art equipment.

Which part did your son work in?

He's always been on maintenance Peter, I think with the reduction in numbers they got them into multi-skill and now I believe his job title is 'technician', I do know he seems to be one of the team that sorts the centrifuges out. :unsure:

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Hydrofluoric acid, Phosgene, Bromochlorodifluoromethane, Phenol, Sodium Hydroxide, Hydrogen, Methyl-chloride, Chlorine - Gaseous and liquid, Sodium, Sodium-hypochlorite, Perborate, Acetylene, Sulphuric acid, Sulphur-dioxide, Sulphur-trioxide. Carbon-tetrachloride, Hydrochloric acid, Cyclohexanol, Fluorothane, Liquid Oxygen , Ethylene, Mercury, Vinyl chloride.

 

I'll never eat another pot noodle again. :shock::blink::mrgreen:

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  • 3 years later...

I began working for Laporte as an Apprentice in 1984. My first year was spent in the training school at the Baronet Road plant. The first fire was in that year of a weekend. I remember being first apprentice in on the following Monday and as I made a brew I noticed something odd about the windows. The glass was thicker at the bottom of the panes! Then I realised the AO plant was gone!

The training shop was to be demolished as part of the AO rebuild. One morning in 1985 we were storing things in the basement of a large storage building. Whilst having break the fire alarms sounded. We opened the door to leave and the building we had been under was ablaze! I think we were very lucky to have been on break or I wouldn't be here today.

I still have a copy of the Warrington Guardian detailing the second blaze!

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welcome to the madhouse/forum. from waht you say you are very lucky. so far i have been fortunate never to be involved in a fire. had a few close calls with gasses and a few other nasty chemicals but so far no fires.

 

if you have the guardian detailing the blaze putting a scan of it may just rekindle a few memories from our posters. you could always start it as a new topic.

 

and again welcome.

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Welcome to the forum 1GuyFromHalton :D

Scarey story and sounds like you were very very lucky indeed.  Like Evils has already said it would be great to read the newspaper clip you still have.

I don't live very far from the plant and ofter wonder what would happen if it really did go up with a bang.  I guess I wouldn't be sat posting on here anymore :shock:
 

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