Update Friday evening – The fire brigade has left the Gerkesklooster location on Friday afternoon around 2.30 pm. After nearly 80 hours of hard work, they had extinguished the fire in the cheese warehouse that started on Tuesday, July 29th at around 8 am. Apart from the complete loss of the cheese warehouse, the brining room is also heavily damaged.
Employees of FrieslandCampina in Gerkesklooster and specialized companies have started to remove milk and product residues from different departments, such as the prefactory, the cheese making facilities, the brining room and the milk powder tower. These residues will be transported to a special production facility and then fermented. In the meanwhile the cleaning and repair activities have also been started. These activities will take a few weeks. It is not yet clear when the production can start again.
Earlier message – As requested by the fire brigade, on Thursday 31 July 2014 work has started with the demolition of the cheese warehouse of FrieslandCampina in Gerkesklooster in order to reach the last of the fires. The fire flared up last night in several places in the cheese warehouse and there is still a lot of smoke. The fire is under control. On Tuesday 29 July a fire broke out in the cheese warehouse.
In the meanwhile the first inspections of the buildings that were not destroyed by the fire have been completed. The cheese factory seems to be in relative good order. There is some smoke and soot damage and the installations need to be cleaned and tested. As soon as the smoke is gone, repairs and cleaning will be started. The prefactory (where the milk is first treated) and the powder tower are not damaged by the fire. They will only need to be cleaned and tested to make sure all the installations are still in working order. It is not yet possible to determine when the cheese and powder production can be restarted. The cause of the fire is not yet known.