DANGEROUS PARKING BLOCKS FIRE ENGINE ACCESS
February 8 2012
East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service (ESFRS) received an emergency call this morning, Wednesday 8th February, at 4.01am regarding a fire in a residential property in Rose Walk Close, Newhaven.
Two units from Newhaven were immediately dispatched to the scene but were unable to access the cul-de-sac because of unlawfully parked cars blocking the entrance. Fortunately, due to the location of the house, crews were able to access the property from an alternative road.
ESFRS warn that access issues such as this clearly affect their response time, and could have resulted in extremely serious consequences.
Smoke was billowing from the property when crews arrived but luckily, despite not having smoke alarms in the building, the elderly resident had woken up and managed to escape. She was treated at the scene by paramedics for smoke inhalation.
The exact cause of the fire is yet to be established but is believed to have originated from the boiler in the kitchen. The fire then spread to the first floor and subsequently into the loft space via a cavity wall. Crews used four breathing apparatus and two hose reel jets to bring the fire under control.
Richard Harrison, Watch Manager, Green Watch, Newhaven said:
"It is absolutely imperative that emergency response vehicles can access all roads. Leaving parked cars in locations which restricts access is completely unacceptable and endangers lives.
"Fire crews have been visiting properties in the local area today, offering safety advice and reminding residents of the importance of having working smoke alarms in their properties. You are more than twice as likely to die in a fire at home if you haven't got a working smoke alarm.
"A smoke alarm is the easiest way to alert you to the danger of fire, giving you time to escape. Vulnerable members of the community may even qualify for free smoke alarms, which are supplied and fitted by East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service. Should anyone wish to check whether they are eligible for a visit, they can call us free on 0800 177 7069."