A huge fire at one of Amazon’s flagship UK warehouses was “most likely” caused by arsonists, firefighters have warned after a blaze tore through the Staffordshire site.
Much of the Rugeley warehouse - which is home to 1.7 million products - was seriously damaged after a fire was discovered on the third floor of the sprawling building on November 4.
It took the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service several hours to get the blaze -which also spread to the fourth level - under control, with teams from all over the county attending the fire.
Despite the fact that up to 1,600 permanent and 3,400 temporary Amazon staff are employed at the warehouse depending on the time of year, no-one was injured in the incident following a mass evacuation.
Police are now treating the case as suspicious after a fire investigation found evidence to suggest the blaze set deliberately.
Fire investigation officer Carl Mason called the situation “very concerning”.
“This was quite a large scale incident which took several hours to deal with due to the type of materials inside the building and the level of smoke logging which took significant time to ventilate,” he said.
“This was quite a large scale incident which took several hours to deal with due to the type of materials inside the building and the level of smoke logging which took significant time to ventilate.
Mason added: “Taking up valuable resources by causing fires deliberately is extremely worrying for the service when there may be people in desperate need of our response.”
The fire comes less than a year after another serious fire at the Rugeley site in 2016.
The warehouse also hit the headlines earlier this year after HuffPost UK revealed that some of its staff were earning less than minimum wage after being effectively forced to pay a third-party for the “benefit” of a special bus service to the site.
It came to light that employees of the American giant were pocketing as little as £6.80 an hour after paying to get to the remote rural location.