Story from the Western Mail newspaper, photo from the BBC:
Around 60,000 bottles of fine wine have been destroyed in a blaze which gutted a massive warehouse.
The sound of corks popping on vintages worth up to £350 each (US$716) could be clearly heard as firefighters fought in vain to save the merchant’s premises in Mullingar, County Westmeath, in the Irish Republic.
Paddy Keogh, owner of Wines Direct, said his warehouse was destroyed by the inferno as he prepared for his busiest time of the year.
“It’s like farming –- there’s a harvest season, and Christmas is our harvest season,” he said.
Thousands of wooden cases to protect the wines during shipping added to the intensity of the blaze, which took more than two hours to bring under control. No one was injured.
Mr Keogh said he could hear the sound of corks popping off his stock as he frantically tried to rescue computer records so he could continue in business.
“We were lucky we managed to rescue our computer equipment and our records that were on software,” he said. “We had good procedures in place that if something like this happened we could do that.”
Fortunately, about 90% of the business’s stock is kept in bond in Dublin and Mr Keogh assured his staff that they would not be losing their jobs over the fire.
“We’ve located a new warehouse overnight, we’re trying to get our phones re-directed, we’re trying to get our computer re-established and we’ll have stock down here tomorrow.”
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