Warehouse fire forces Asos website offline

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Warehouse fire forces Asos website offline

Retailer stops orders after arson attack.

Global online retailer Asos was forced to take its website offline for two days after a fire tore through its main warehouse in the UK over the weekend.

The website remained inaccessible for two days, after a fire blazed through four floors of Asos' Barnsley, South Yorkshire distribution centre on Saturday morning AEST.

The facility, which is the retailer's only British warehouse, is more than 60,000 square meters in size. Every Asos product passes through the centre before being delivered.

The retailer made the decision to take the website down in order to stem the tide of customer orders until operations were able to return to normal.

“In order not to disappoint our customers we have temporarily stopped taking orders," Asos said in a statement.

"We experienced a fire in our warehouse tonight and fortunately nobody was hurt. We understand there has been substantial damage but it's too early to ascertain the extent. We will not be taking any orders in the meantime."

The company advised at around 11:30am today the website was back online.

"Sorry we were out of action. We'd like to say a huge thank you to all our customers for being so supportive while we got back on our feet and made sure everyone was OK."

The fire, which police believe was deliberately lit, took 10 fire engines and more than 60 firefighters to control. Asos was forced to evacuate 500 of its staff from the building.

Police have launched a criminal investigation into the cause of the fire and are treating it as deliberate.

Earlier this year Asos suffered a systems glitch to its processing of orders which resulted in a backlog of deliveries over a weekend in February.

The retailer declined at the time to provide detail on the systems maintenance glitch, which saw it temporarily suspend its premium express delivery option.

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