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'Absolutely humbled' Glenisk director says 'training saved many lives' after fire guts Offaly plant

Mr Cleary said none of the 50 staff that were evacuated suffered injuries but that the factory was more or less completely destroyed.

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A photo of emergency services tackling the blaze at the Glenisk plant. Photo: Offaly County Council.

A photo of emergency services tackling the blaze at the Glenisk plant. Photo: Offaly County Council.

A photo of emergency services tackling the blaze at the Glenisk plant. Photo: Offaly County Council.

The Director of Glenisk Vincent Cleary has said he is “absolutely humbled” by companies that have reached out to offer help following a huge fire that destroyed Glenisk’s plant in Killeigh, Offaly.

The fire broke out on Monday afternoon and spread incredibly quickly throughout the facility, destroying anything that “gets a yoghurt to a supermarket shelf."

Mr Cleary said none of the 50 staff that were evacuated suffered injuries but that the factory was more or less completely destroyed. He said the quick actions of staff and fire safety training “saved many lives” at the plant yesterday.

“The fire started where our yoghurt is made, in the incubation room, and within seconds it seemed to have spread along a wall and the shout went out and the alarm went off to evacuate the premises.

“We’re well drilled and trained in that and yeah, you could say that our training saved many lives yesterday,” Mr Cleary told Morning Ireland.

Emergency services including all units of Tullamore’s fire brigade, Gardaí and units of the National Ambulance were scrambled to the scene as black smoke could be seen pouring from the facility from quite a distance.

Mr Cleary said a number of manufacturers, “whom we would have considered as competitors” have reached out to offer Glenisk additional manufacturing facilities so they can begin making their products as soon as possible.

Mr Cleary confirmed that an investigation into exactly how the fire started will resume this morning. He admitted the immediate future of the Glenisk is “uncertain.”

Mr Cleary said he was humbled by the support of other businesses and the close to 80 staff employed at the plant.

“We have invited all line managers in to lay out exactly what we need to get back up and running again.

“We won’t see farmers that deliver us milk stuck, we still have our milk tankers until we can figure something else out.

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“We are devastated,” Mr Cleary said.

Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly, Barry Cowen said the blaze was “terrible news for all those associated with Glenisk."

“I have made initial contact with the company’s managing director to offer my commiserations and assistance in any way.

“Everyone was relieved to hear that there had been no casualties reported, however the blaze appears to have caused extensive damage to the facility. Our thoughts are with everyone at Glenisk right now,” Deputy Cowen said.

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