Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Fire station destroyed by blaze wasn't fitted with sprinklers or alarms

A Norfolk fire station gutted in a blaze that destroyed a fire engine, was not fitted with sprinklers or alarms. Norfolk's deputy chief fire officer Roy Harold accepted the service should have followed its own advice.

Police officers working nearby reported the fire in Downham Market, Norfolk, just after midnight on Tuesday. It had started in the bay where the station's fire engine was housed. Crews from other areas were called to help tackle the fire.

Mr Harold said: "Normally we go to other people's fires, but tonight we had to go to our own. I think there is a fire safety message there for us. This building's relatively new, but it wasn't sprinklered.

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"If it'd been fitted with sprinklers, we wouldn't be here today chatting about this because the fire would've been put out very, very quickly automatically. We now ask all new building developments to consider sprinklers very strongly." A new fire engine costs about £250,000 and a new fire station could cost about £1.5m, he said. An investigation into the cause of the fire will begin when the building has been declared safe.

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