The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) has confirmed that an investigation is underway at Lakeland Dairies-owned LacPatrick Dairies, in Strabane in Co. Tyrone, following a small fire at the plant.

According to Lakeland Dairies, production was “temporarily halted” at the plant but was scheduled to resume.

It also added that the “overall plant is undamaged”.

Small fire

The NIFRS detailed on social media that it had attended a fire early this morning (Monday, May 15) at the LacPatrick Dairies plant in Artigarvan, Strabane.

It said on social media that its fire crews “had to negotiate a challenging space to access and extinguish the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation”.

Meanwhile, Lakeland Dairies said that a small fire had broken out “in some machinery” at the plant in Co. Tyrone.

In a statement, Lakeland Dairies said:

“The fire was detected immediately on its occurrence at approximately 1:30a.m.

“The fire brigade was called and attended promptly. The fire was quickly brought under control by Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service on their arrival and the fire brigade departed the site at approximately 8:00a.m.”

It also added that “the plant’s safety systems all operated effectively and a number of staff onsite exited immediately and safely in line with all necessary procedures”.

The co-op said it was “thankful that nobody was injured as a result of this occurrence”.

Lakeland Dairies

In its latest set of annual results, Lakeland Dairies outlined that it collected more than two billion litres of milk from 3,200 farm families across 16 counties across the country last year.

Operating profit at Lakeland Dairies reached €32.5 million euro in 2022 which represented an increase of €4.3 million (15%).

The 2022 annual report also stated that Lakeland Dairies’ revenues increased by 45% to €1.9 billion across its four operating divisions: Food Ingredients; Foodservice; Consumer Foods; and agri-business, Lakeland Agri.

This represented an increase of €590 million on the previous year’s figure of €1.3 billion.

Lakeland also highlighted that it closed 2022 “with a strong balance sheet and shareholders’ funds of €273 million”.