22 September 2010 - Castelo Branco (Portugal): Fire in institute causes three million euros in damages
The fire that started this Wednesday at dawn in the building of the Instituto de Soldadura e Qualidade (ISQ; Welding and Quality Institute), in Castelo Branco, caused over three million euros in damages, according to its administrator Joaquim Guedelha.
The fire was ignited around 3h24 in the morning of September 8th, on the trucks parked next to the building and then spread to the institute. It was put down around 7h, as said by the chief of the fire brigade.
Joaquim Guedelha told Lusa (news agency) that the pavilion is going to be rebuilt, despite the huge damage, and maybe it’ll be ready to start functions again in three months, so that the Laboratory for Thermodynamical Trials (LABET), which is part of the ISQ, can restart its activity.
“We had several certification trials of cooling systems and transportation of perishable products going on, apart from the trials of materials we were doing for the European Space Agency (ESA)”, he said.
“The technical part of the installations is quite damaged, but the offices seem to be safe. By now it seems the project we were conducting for the ESA is safeguarded, but it’s still too soon to draw any conclusions”, said Vasco Pires.
The Castelo Branco ISQ, through its Laboratório de Ensaios Termodinâmicos (LABET), was testing the heat-resisting coating of the first ESA (European Space Agency) space shuttle.
Joaquim Guedelha underlined that the materials that were being tested are “unique, since this is the only place which is conducting these trials”.
All the materials and machinery inside the building were destroyed, but the administrator is optimistic: “we’re going to build other cooling tunnels similar to the one we had and put the machinery working, so that we can accomplish the objectives we had together with the European Space Agency”, he said.
Joaquim Guedelha also told that the ISQ will try to find temporary installations in Castelo Branco for the trials to go on until this building is rebuilt.
The Judiciary Police is investigating.
Source: Correio da Manhã, Público, Portuguese Indymedia and others