Firefighters battle the blaze from an aerial platform at Roberts Bakery in Northwich, Cheshire.  Emma Thistleton

Source: Emma Thistleton

Firefighters battle the blaze from an aerial platform at Roberts Bakery plant in Northwich, Cheshire.

A fire has ripped through part of Frank Roberts & Sons bakery in Northwich, Cheshire.

The company has yet to comment on the extent of the damage of this morning’s fire (5 June) including if it would affect supply of its bakery brands Roberts Bakery and Little Treats. The business also operates a production facility in Ilkeston, Derbyshire.

A total of 12 fire service crews attended the incident on Gadbrook Park industrial estate, which started around 11am. Two aerial ladder platforms and high-volume main water jets were used.

Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service said the fire involved a ceiling joist and scaffolding boards within one of the buildings. It described the incident as a ‘well-developed fire in a temporary roof structure’, a flat roof measuring 250 metres by 200 metres, which had spread to the production area.

Local resident Emma Thistleton was alerted by the plumes of white smoke and came to take photos of the incident from the other side of the road. 

Roberts confirmed that all staff and contractors had been quickly evacuated and accounted for, with no casualties reported. According to the Fire Service’s incident updates, crews were still continuing to extinguish small pockets of fire within the building at 4:15pm.

Roberts Bakery fire in Cheshire.

Source: Emma Thistleton

Frank Roberts & Sons is a 130-year-old fourth-generation family business which employs more than 750 people across two sites with a turnover northward of £90m. Its supplies a range of retail, own label, food to-go and foodservice customers. Roberts Bakery produces lines of bread, rolls, teacakes, crumpets, and buns, while Little Treats make biscuits including oversized versions of custard creams, bourbons, and jammy dodgers.

Industry veteran Bill Thurston was named new managing director of the company Frank Roberts & Sons in November 2022. His appointment came as Roberts secured an £18m cash injection from Wells Fargo to fund new equipment, enhance production capabilities and support growth.