Fire In The hole

I break the Rwandan posts today to talk about news that happened today.

I must admit I’ve had better days than today. I’m still quite tired from the Rwanda trip, and so much to catch up on and much to do. So today sitting in the office I get a whiff of this very strange smell. My nose is incredibly sensitive as a good coffee roasters should. I look but can’t find anything so I think it must be someone burning rubbish etc outside. But it gets stronger then starts to bloom smoke from my 15kg roaster that is cooling down after finishing its roasts for the morning.

This gets worse and worse, until I start to empty extinguisher after extinguisher while we wait for the local fire brigade to come. I evacuate the building as its getting quite bad. A few times I worried me might lose control of the fire. I’ve posted some photos below of the aftermath

Roaster Fire

Roaster fire 2

Roaster Fire 3

The great news is we were only down for an hour and a half, we were cleaned up and ready to go again and every order placed up until three today went out. This is because I have a great (small) team of people who pulled together to make sure we can do what we do so well (well done guys). The other good news is no one got hurt and this wont effect any of the production at all due to the unique way we have a roaster for every occasion. Its so strange as roaster maintenance and cleaning is kind of so over the top from us. We stripped this machine down just a couple of days ago. You don’t know when they are going to strike but when they do you know about it.

The bad news is my middle roaster is out for a while as the machine I think is finished. We will see what the insurance company say tomorrow but it looks bad. But we will have to work a little harder with different batch sizes, but I think we will be fine as we tend to use this one the least.

One of my favorite (if you can have a favorite) of the pictures is the one below. The stack is around 15ft high and you can see the burning on the top of the chimney from the fire. At one point flames were roasting out.


But we are all ok and things are normal here so please don’t worry.

About the author Has Bean steve

All posts by Has Bean steve →


  1. Steve that’s rotten! So glad you are all ok though, that’s the main thing. Hope it all gets sorted for you with the least amount of hassle possible. Good work though keeping things on track! I’d expect nothing less.

  2. Good grief mate. Glad you are all okay.

  3. Hey there,
    Just thought I would drop a note. I really enjoyed the podcast interview with Chris. I hope your back on in the future. Welcome back to the UK and I hope that everything goes well getting things “back in order” with the roaster!

  4. oooohhhhh, duuuuude. so sorry to hear it.

  5. The fire service were brilliant and Stephen could have a part time job fire fighting….
    Thanks to everyone who has emailed us or left comments you are all brilliant. 🙂

    Things can only get better as they say.

  6. I’m glad you are all ok guys, and it wasn’t worst than it was. I’m also very glad you managed to pull together enough to still get our order out, just goes to show the professionalism and dedication you guys put in.

    Hope the news gets better for you guys!


  7. That must have been a hell of an adrenaline kick. Glad you’re all okay and surely the insurance will cover that! Fingers crossed!

  8. Hasbean… taking dark roast to the next level. 😉

    Glad to hear it wasn’t too serious though and no-one was hurt.

    There must have been some heat to discolur the chimney like that. Wow.

    On the plus side, if it is destroyed – you may get a new toy soon.. 😉

  9. Glad you are all ok

  10. Glad it wasn’t too bad, and everyone is OK.

    You need to get the last roast on sale as a “Fie in the Hole” special.

  11. or even a “Fire in the Hole” special!!!

  12. Hi Steve

    Glad you’re back from your travels safe & sound.

    Sorry to hear about your experience with great amount of extra heat. Glad to hear all is well and everyone is safe.

  13. espressoSquirrel 5 September, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    so which coffee got the extra dark roast? please tell me it wasn’t the El Salvador La Illusion

    hope your insurance company is good to you

  14. Revised fire action notice to be displayed in Hasbean roasting area:

    In the event of a fire:

    1) Take photo
    2) Sound the alarm
    3) Take photo
    4) Evacuate staff (unless they are equipped with a camera
    5) Take photo
    6) Tackle blaze with right hand, video with left.

  15. Just wanted to say thank you for all you kind comments and the lovely emails we have received from lots of our friends. Thank you all so much (apart from wonderchunder that’s just mean 😉 )

  16. Oh mate!!! Just home from The Do Lectures and see this 🙁

    SO glad you are all ok.
    Speak soon,


  17. Yikes!! But you know what they say, Steve, it is not if but when…………

  18. Just read this post. Very sorry to hear about the fire. Well done for coping with it so well and it’s great that everyone is safe.

  19. Does this herald the era of a new flame grilled coffee process?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *