Archived West Sussex reported incidents
click above to enlarge
FIRE STATION BLAZE - ARUNDEL
Wednesday October 25 2006 17:36 by Paul Archer:
An investigation is currently being carried out into the cause of a blaze, which has destroyed a community fire station in West Sussex earlier today.
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service received a 999 call from an ambulance paramedic at 10:48hrs this morning, reporting smoke issuing from the fire engine bay at Arundel fire station in Ford Road, Arundel.
Crews from Littlehampton fire station were sent to the scene and on arrival were faced with a severe fire involving the appliance bay and a fire engine. The blaze was rapidly spreading to other parts of the premises very quickly which prompted fire crews to request further fire engines from the surrounding area.
At the height of the incident, more than 50 firefighters were on the scene tackling the blaze. The fire has caused severe damage to the fire station and investigations are currently on going as to the cause, however the fire is not being treated as suspicious. Strong indications are pointing to the possibility of an electrical fault within the fire engine bay area.
Firefighters used two jets, two hose reels, two hydrants and 12 breathing apparatus to bring the fire under control.
Emergency measures are currently being undertaken to ensure that fire cover is maintained in the Arundel area, which will involve a fire engine being temporarily situated within Arundel, crewed by the existing retained duty firefighters.
Crews attended from Littlehampton, East Preston, Worthing, Bognor Regis, Chichester, Shoreham and Horsham.
Thursday October 26 2006 12:19 by Paul Archer:
Following the devastating fire at Arundel Fire Station on Wednesday 25.10.06, West Sussex Fire & Rescue have quickly recovered and fire crews from Arundel were available very shortly after the fire was brought under control.
The Station will need major work to bring it back on line, in the meantime arrangements are being made to put temporary buildings in place so that the staff can continue to provide their first class service to the community of West Sussex.
Neil Odin - Area Commander South
Ambulance technician escapes fire
SECAMB - Press Release: 25 October 2006
An ambulance technician had a narrow escape from a serious fire at Arundel Fire Station this morning.
Anne Myhill, who is based at Bognor ambulance station was standing-by at Arundel Fire Station under a new partnership arrangement between South East Coast Ambulance Service and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
Anne said: “I was in the rest room when I heard a small popping sound come from the garage area. It didn’t seem particularly loud but a few seconds later I noticed the smoke. I got out of the building and then called the fire service. Within minutes there was a serious fire which looked like it was causing severe damage.”
Apart from slight smoke inhalation Anne was unharmed and was able to continue for the rest of her shift.
ARUNDEL FIRE STATION UPDATE
Posted Tuesday 31 October 2006 16:38 by Gary Towson:
'Arundel Fire Station is ready to respond to any emergency', that's the clear message from West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service following last weeks fire.
Plans for a recovery operation began almost as soon as the fire was discovered, and the station was operational again by 5pm the same day.
Emergency fire cover for the Arundel area was maintained even as the blaze was being fought, with fire engines being brought in from neighbouring stations.
A reserve fire engine to replace the one destroyed by the fire was on scene just 5 hours after the fire started, along with replacement fire tunics, leggings and helmets for the firefighters.
Temporary buildings have now been constructed to house the fire engine, along with office and storage facilities, and the station is fully operational.
"We are used to dealing with disasters," said Area Commander Neil Odin, "but this has been an extremely unusual situation even for us.
"I think most people who saw the devastation last week will have been surprised at how quick we have been able to restore our normal level of service.
"We have had fantastic support from all our staff, suppliers, contractors and the local community and we really can't thank them enough. It's down to their efforts that we have been able to recover as quickly as we have.
"A permanent replacement for the fire station will be built as soon as possible but we want to reassure the local community that there has been no gap in the service provided, proven by the fact that Arundel firefighters have already been out on a number of emergency calls"
MAN RESCUED FROM QUARRY
Sent Saturday 8 July 2006 2:08 by Paul Archer
A man has been rescued by firefighters after he became stuck in deep mud and water at a quarry near Storrington.
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service was called to a report of a man stuck in mud at the bottom of a disused sand quarry at The Hollow in Washington at 20:40hrs yesterday 07/07/06.
The man was trapped up to his waist and was unable to move or free himself due to the suction from the mud.
On arrival, firefighters from Storrington quickly donned life jackets and secured him using rescue lines. The man was released about an hour later after firefighters using hand shovels and a mud lance managed to pull him free uninjured.
It is believed that the man had been trapped for some time before his friend who was with him actually alerted the emergency services.
Station Manager Brian Holden said: “ The man was extremely lucky, fortunately the man had his friend with him and he was able to call the emergency services who were quickly on the scene. Had he been alone there would have been no way he could have freed himself.
We urge people to stay well away from prohibited areas especially quarry sites. These sites are incredibly dangerous.”
Additional support was requested from the newly formed Technical Rescue Unit based at Horley fire station.
Two fire engines and a four-wheel drive vehicle from Storrington attended the scene. The man was conveyed to hospital by the South East Coast Ambulance Service as a precautionary measure.
A mud lance is a specialist tool which is used to inject water or air into mud or unstable ground to assist in the rescue and release of persons or animals trapped in this type of environment.
The technical rescue unit is equipped to deal with large-scale emergencies such as heavy rescue, accidents from road and rail to structural collapses.
BARN FIRE - GOODWOOD
Sent Monday 3 July 2006 22:45 by Paul Archer
Over fifty firefighters have been tackling a barn fire near Goodwood House, that has again prompted West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service to repeat their warning on the dangers of the hot weather, which is currently hitting the County and the South of England.
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service mobilised two appliances from Chichester to a farm close to Goodwood House at 17:05hrs today.
A further call indicated that a barn was well alight, prompting the Services Command & Mobilising Centre in Chichester to mobilise further fire engines. The smoke from the blaze could be seen a considerable distance from Goodwood.
On arrival of fire crews it was also discovered that straw and silage stored next to the barn was also well alight. Further fire engines and a water carrier were also requested to maintain water supplies for the fire-fighting operation.
The Dutch barn contained approximately 1000 tonnes of straw and approximately 3000 tonnes of silage of which about 50% involved in the blaze.
Firefighters and staff from the farm have worked in very hot conditions to try and save as much of the contents as possible. This has involved the use of tractors and farm machinery. The Goodwood Aviation Fire & Rescue Service was also on the scene during the early stages working alongside West Sussex fire crews.
Fire engines from Chichester, Bognor Regis, Littlehampton, Bosham and Shoreham were involved in the early stages of firefighting operations. It is expected that more appliances from around the County will be sent to the scene throughout the night as relief crews.
Firefighters have used four ground water monitors, two jets and two hose reels to tackle the blaze and prevent any spread of fire to nearby buildings. A water carrier from Littlehampton fire station has been used to shuttle water to the scene.
Fire investigation officers are currently investigating the cause, however the fire is not thought to be deliberate.
West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is warning people to be extra careful during this hot weather spell.
Head of Community Fire Safety Roger Wood said: " We do appreciate the hot weather ourselves, and want people to enjoy themselves however we want to encourage people to take care and think about what they’re doing.
For example, drivers should refrain from discarding cigarettes out of car windows whilst driving along, as this combined with dry grass verges and hedgerows, can easily lead to serious fires that can spread and involve properties in the countryside.
FOUR BARN FIRES ACROSS SUSSEX BRING BUSY NIGHT FOR FIRE CREWS
12th August 2009
An investigation is underway after four barn fires kept firefighters busy at farms in Sussex overnight.
Firefighters from West and East Sussex have been tackling large barn fires at Hanlye Lane in Cuckfield and Sloop Lane in Scaynes Hill - both West Sussex, Fletching near Uckfield and Newick near Lewes, East Sussex, since late last night. They are all being considered as arson and are believed to be linked.
The first was reported at Lullings Farm at Hanlye Lane at 21:00 last night, Tuesday August 11. The metal framed barn which contained approximately 30 tonnes of baled straw was 'well alight' on arrival of crews from Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill. Firefighters tackled the fire using 4 hose reels, 2 jets and 1 hydrant and allowed the straw to burn under controlled conditions to ensure it did not spread and cause further damage.
This was followed by the fires at Goldbridge Farm in Newick at 11:27pm, East Sussex, and Sloop Lane in Scaynes Hill at 11.50pm.
West Sussex Fire and Rescue crews arrived at Freshfield Mill Farm, Sloop Lane at 00:06am this morning, August 12 and found a 30mx20m barn once again 'well alight'. The barn contained approximately 170 tonnes of straw and one tractor which were involved in the fire. All livestock had been removed before the arrival of the crews. Firefighters from Henfield, East Grinstead, Crawley, Horsham, Bognor Regis and Littlehampton spent almost 2 hours tackling the fire before relief crews were brought in from Chichester, Shoreham, Hurstpierpoint and Petworth. It is expected that personnel will remain at the scene until early this afternoon to ensure that the fire is fully extinguished.
The last fire was reported in East Sussex at Mill Lane in Fletching at 12:03am -August 12.
Watch Manager at Haywards Heath Fire Station in West Sussex, Ian Walker, said: "Unfortunately crews were called out to two separate Incidents last night within the same hour. Barn fires such as these can easily rage out of control and tie up a lot of resources for Fire Services. Our priority in these cases was to stop the fires spreading to surrounding tress and woodland. By controlling the fires and allowing the straw to burn itself out safely, we stopped the fires from causing further damage.
Crews will be making checks throughout today to ensure that the fires do not break out again and an investigation between us and Sussex Police is underway.
At this point we do suspect that these fires are related and that they may be arson. If they have been indeed been started deliberately by the same person or group of people, we will work together with Sussex Police to investigate and hopefully catch the culprits involved, and work towards preventing similar incidents occurring in the future."
Sussex Police are appealing for witnesses who may have seen suspicious activity in the area to contact them
on 0845 60 70 999 quoting serial 2040 of 11/08.
back to incident reports
page top - - Fire Service index
Paramedics attend trapped 2 year old boy on Sussex beach
Press release dated: 1 June 2006
An ambulance crew and a doctor have today, Thursday, 1 June 2006, spent more than two and a half hours attending to a young boy after he became trapped in rocks.
A 999 call was received in Ambulance Control at 1.21pm and an ambulance dispatched to the scene straight away, followed shortly afterwards by paramedic officer Nigel Hammond and SIMCAS doctor Dr Ben Chiswick; the coastguard, police and fire crews also attended. The boy, believed to be two years old, had become trapped by his head in some rocks and was unable to be freed by his parents.
Despite the efforts of all those involved, the boy was not freed until about 3.40pm. During the time he was trapped, he was attended to by the ambulance crew, Clinical Team Leader Mark Newman and Paramedic Paddy Crunden and the on-scene doctor Dr Chiswick who sedated him to enable him to finally be freed. The boy, although very distressed, was in a stable condition. Once freed, he was taken by ambulance to Hospital.
Spokeswoman Janine Bell said: "This was a good example of all services working well together to free this young boy, with a good outcome. We were lucky with the tide level, which at another time could have been very difficult"
Ambulance crews attend incident on Chanctonbury Hill
Press release dated: 30 May 2006
An ambulance crew plus Hotel 900, the ambulance police helicopter have today, Tuesday, 30 May 2006, attended two little girls who had a lucky escape when a tree fell on them on Chanctonbury Hill, West Sussex.
Ambulance control were alerted to the incident at 4.10pm, with the caller giving details of two girls, believed to be aged three and four, who had been injured by a falling tree. An ambulance was immediately sent to the scene, along with a SIMCAS doctor, Hotel 900 and a paramedic officer. A West Sussex fire crew also attended to assist with retrieving the patients, as they were located about half a mile up the hill.
Although neither girl was seriously injured, both had been hit on the head by branches and after being assessed at the scene by paramedics, were taken by ambulance to Worthing Hospital. Hotel 900 was able to land close by, although was not required to transport either patient.
Paramedic officer Mark Lilley, who attended the incident said: “Both girls had had a lucky escape. Although quite upset, neither appeared to be seriously injured and through close working with the Fire Service, we were able to move them to the ambulance and onto the hospital quite quickly.”
SEAL OF APPROVAL FOR FIREFIGHTERS
Sent Tuesday May 23 2006 15:07 by Paul Archer
Bognor Regis Firefighters have earned a seal of approval following the dramatic rescue of a stranded seal at Pagham Harbour in West Sussex.
RSPCA staff requested the attendance of the Fire & Rescue Service at approximately 17:30hrs last night 22.05.06, after a full grown seal about 1.5 metres in length became stuck in mud at Pagham Harbour near Selsey.
Apparently the seal had been spotted off the coast of Selsey on Saturday afternoon but had somehow got itself stranded in waters close to the Harbour Road car park at Pagham.
Bognor Regis firefighters were quickly on the scene and after carrying out a safety assessment were able to locate a safe route to the area where the seal was located.
A fireboat from East Wittering Community Fire Station was sent to the scene as a precautionary measure due to the fast rising tide.
Fire Crews wearing life jackets were able to slide the seal onto a salvage tarpaulin and with the help of an RSPCA officer they managed to drag the seal to the Harbour Road car park. The seal was later transported to an animal rescue unit based in Hastings.
Although the seal was very exhausted, the animal is expected to make a full recovery.
A vet at the scene said: “The fish are in very close to the shore at the moment which more than likely encouraged the seal into the harbour. Unfortunately the animal became stuck in the mud and it was sometime before anybody spotted it.”
Crews left the scene at approximately 18:22hrs
UPDATE TO PRESS RELEASE ISSUED AT 15:07HRS 23.05.06
Sent Tuesday 23 May 2006 16:45 by Paul Archer
Despite the efforts of all involved in the rescue of a seal at Pagham Harbour last night 22.05.06
It has now been confirmed by the RSPCA that the seal has sadly died.
ELDERLY LADY KILLED IN HOUSE FIRE
Sent Sunday 2 April 2006 21:00 by Gary Towson
An elderly lady has died in a house fire near Haslemere.
Firefighters were called to the house in Linchmere Rd, in the Hammer parish of Haslemere at 3:20pm today, 2nd April, when a neighbour heard a smoke alarm sounding and saw smoke coming from a ground floor window.
The house is in West Sussex but very close to the borders of both Surrey and Hampshire, and the three nearest fire engines ordered were from all three counties; Haslemere, Liphook and Midhurst.
The first crew to arrive was from Haslemere and Watch Manager Tony Root explained the lady was found quickly but unfortunately there was nothing they could do to save her.
"We sent teams of breathing apparatus wearers in with hose reels to search the house but they were unable to open the door to the room where the fire started because of an obstruction. They quickly managed to force their way in the room by climbing through the ground floor window and the lady occupier was found laying on the floor."
The fire was extinguished with hose reels and was contained to just one room. A cat was found inside the house and given oxygen but also died.
Fire Investigation Officers and Police are working to try and find out exactly what caused the fire. A post mortem will be carried out to establish the cause of death, but at this time it is not thought to be suspicious.
Fire crews given wrong directions
27 Aug 2004
Fire & rescue crews took over 20 minutes to reach a crash scene at Rogate, in which a woman was trapped.
The original emergency call to West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, at 10.29am, gave the location of the accident as on the A286 at Henley, near Fernhurst.
Midhurst fire and rescue searched the A286 as far as Fernhurst before being redirected to the A272 near its junction with the Parsonage Estate west of Rogate village centre, where they arrived at 10.50am.
Stedham lady rescued from River Rother
Ambulance Press release dated: 21 February 2006
An ambulance crew from Midhurst have today, Tuesday, 21 February 2006, helped to rescue a lady from the River Rother in West Sussex.
Ambulance control were alerted to the incident at 3.30pm, with the caller giving details of a female in her 30s, who had gone into the river at Stedham, near Midhurst to rescue her dog and was then unable to get herself out. An ambulance crew and SIMCAS doctor arrived on scene shortly afterwards, along with the Police and Fire Service, and although the lady had been helped out of the water by her husband, she was in an inaccessible position on the river bank and in need of medical attention.
The coastguard helicopter, India Juliet, was summoned and winched the lady on board from the river bank. She was then flown to St Richards Hospital in Chichester, suffering from hypothermia, although in a stable condition. Her husband, also suffering from hypothermia, was taken by ambulance to St Richards.
Janine Bell, Head of PR & Communications, said: “This was a good example of all the emergency services working well together. Given the cold weather today and the recent heavy rain, this lady had a lucky escape.”
Sunday 05 Aug - 07
MAN RESCUED FOLLOWING FALL DOWN CHALK PIT
A man has been rescued by the emergency services after falling from a steep chalk pit ledge earlier today.
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service received a call for assistance from the South East Coast Ambulance service at 05:32hrs.
The man had sustained leg injuries after falling some 20 feet down. The incident occurred a short distance from Billingshurst. The casualty was located in a deep seated area some considerable distance down. Equipment had to be carried to the scene as it was not possible to access the area with a vehicle.
India Juliet the HM Coastguard helicopter was requested as it was too dangerous to carry the casualty back to the road. Fortunately the helicopter was able to land in a nearby field and the man was quickly conveyed to hospital by air following treatment by Paramedics at the scene.
Andy Horner, District Commander for Chichester said: The operation involved many of the emergency services which included the HM Coastguard, Ambulance Service, Police and the West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Technical Rescue Unit. The route to the casualty was very dangerous as personnel had to encounter sheer drops of 50 feet or more whilst carrying rescue equipment. All the Services worked well together as a team.
WrL Chichester - WrL Arundel - Technical Rescue Unit
Photos: Picture 1 - - Picture 2
Widespread damage caused as flash floods and lightning strikes hit Sussex
2nd Jun 1999.
Sussex Fire brigades took more than 100 emergency calls from 3am and crews were busy for the next four hours.
The downpours were caused by a thundery low pressure system and weathermen warned of more stormy outbreaks later today.
In West Sussex, drains overloaded at Tesco in Shipney Road, Bognor, and firefighters and staff shifted goods to safety .....
Arundel firefighters pumped water from Tillington Court, Tillington, near Petworth, as 2 crews from Petworth salvaged property from nearby Coates Castle, in Coates Lane, Barlavington. The castle was believed to have been hit by lightning and suffered some flooding as the roof partially collapsed.
There were flooding reports in North Street, Midhurst. Stormy weather also caused a tree to fall on the A285 at Duncton.
Many cars broke down when motorists tried to drive through deep standing water.
25th June 2009 9:06pm
MAN FOUND DEAD AT BUNGALOW FIRE - CHICHESTER
A man has been found dead at the scene of a kitchen fire that broke out at his bungalow in Chichester tonight. At this stage it is unknown whether the gentleman died of natural causes or as a result of the fire. The cause of the fire is not being treated as suspicious.
Two fire engines from Chichester were mobilised to a report of a kitchen fire at the bungalow in Kingsham Avenue, Chichester at 7:45pm. When they arrived they found that neighbours had rescued the occupier, a male in his early 70's, but he was sadly confirmed deceased at the scene.
An investigation is under way to find out how the fire started but it is not being treated as suspicious.
Further details may be released later.
Date Added: 26th June 2pm
UPDATE ON FATAL BUNGALOW FIRE - CHICHESTER
The man who was found dead at the scene of a fire in Chichester last night has been named as 71 year old Terrence Kelly.
West Sussex firefighters had been called to a fire at the bungalow in Langdale Ave at 7:45pm.
Neighbour Patrick Krawczak had leapt over a garden fence and gone into the bungalow when he saw smoke and flames coming from the kitchen. He dragged Mr Kelly outside before attempting to revive him using CPR with father Gregory Woloszczuk and his daughter Diana.
Patrick also extinguished the blaze by using a garden hose through an open window.
Speaking on behalf of West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Gary Locker, Deputy District for Chichester said;
The efforts of the neighbours are to be commended for trying to help Mr Kelly although we are naturally cautious about encouraging would-be rescuers to enter a burning building. We don't want anyone to put themselves in danger or become a casualty themselves, but it's quite a natural instinct to try and help in some way.
In this case they have seen smoke and flames coming from the kitchen and gone in to find Mr Kelly in the kitchen. Having dragged him outside to fresh air they were trying to revive him when we arrived.
Unfortunately, despite their heroic efforts Mr Kelly has passed away and we naturally offer our condolences to his family.
The fire started in a chip pan on the cooker, and putting water onto burning oils is extremely dangerous as it causes a volatile reaction between the water and oil, creating a fireball and spreading the fire. Fortunately that did not happen in this case as most of the oil in the pan seems to have burnt off before the hose was used on it.
We are still not sure if Mr Kelly died as result of natural causes or as a result of the fire; that will have to be determined by a post-mortem.
Although there was a smoke alarm in the bungalow it didn’t work as it didn’t have a battery in. However, due the circumstances in this case it would be inappropriate to comment prior to the Coroners inquest on whether this may have influenced the outcome.
CRAWLEY LADY DIES IN HOUSE FIRE
Date Added: 10th May 2009
Press Officer: Gary Towson
An elderly lady has been found dead by firefighters attending a house fire in Crawley this morning.
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service were called shortly after 9:30am by a neighbour who spotted smoke coming from the bedroom window of a house in Rye Ash, in the Three Bridges area of Crawley.
Three crews from Crawley Fire Station were mobilised and were in attendance just five minutes later. The house was secure so they forced their way in through a double glazed front door before making their way upstairs. The female casualty was found in a rear bedroom but unfortunately was already deceased. She has been identified as Elaine Cuthbert and the fire was restricted to just the bedroom where she was found.
Fire Investigation Officers are working with Police Scenes of Crime Officers to try and establish how the fire started, although they are not treating the fire as suspicious. It is not clear at this stage if the lady died from natural causes or as a result of the fire.
The house had no working smoke alarm and Pete Martin, Fire Service District Commander for the Crawley area said that "although the fire appeared to be a tragic accident a working smoke alarm may have given an earlier warning to the developing fire". "Unfortunately on this occasion it was too late for our firefighters to save this lady, as we believe the fire may have been burning for several hours before we were called. Even if Mrs Cuthbert hadn’t been able to respond herself, the sound of a smoke alarm – if one was fitted – may have alerted the neighbours a lot sooner. The majority of accidental fire deaths occur in properties without working smoke alarms and every UK Fire & Rescue Service is working hard to reduce the numbers of people killed or seriously injured by fires in their own home.
In West Sussex we offer free Home Fire Safety Checks and help with installing smoke alarms where appropriate. If you are concerned for yourself, or even a relative, friend or neighbour please phone 0800 328 6487."
DOG RESCUED FROM BLAZE
9th February 2007 by Sarah Lander WSFRS
A property has been severely damaged following a blaze, which resulted in fire crews rescuing a pet dog that was trapped and overcome by smoke.
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service received a call from a next-door neighbour who reported smoke coming from the property at 09:18hrs this morning 9-2-07
Crews were quickly on the scene and found a well-developed fire in the front room of a bungalow. It was first thought that the occupiers were still be in the property which prompted firefighters wearing breathing apparatus to carry out a rapid search of the building.
The first crew that entered the property discovered a dog, very frightened and cowering in the hallway of the property. Crews quickly lifted the dog up and carried her outside, where she was given oxygen therapy. Two firefighters then rushed the dog-named Shelley to a nearby vet where she was promptly examined. It was quickly established that the occupiers were out of the building.
Shelley, a six-year-old Labrador was very frightened and shaken by her ordeal, however she is expected to make a full recovery.
Roger Wood, Incident Commander and Head Of Community Fire Safety said: “ Fire crews were on the scene very quickly thanks to a concerned next door neighbour. The blaze has caused severe damage to the property, which has prompted us to issue a warning of the importance of closing internal doors when leaving the property or retiring to bed. The doors throughout the bungalow were all open which meant the whole property suffered damage by fire, heat and smoke.”
click for full images
Katie looking over her wrecked car the following day.
Thursday 29 October 2009
MIDHURST WOMAN HAS LUCKY ESCAPE
A 21 year old Midhurst woman escaped uninjured after swerving for a deer caused her car to leave the road and overturn narrowly missing a number of large trees. Katie Woodman of Carron Lane, Midhurst was driving home last night [Wed. 28th] along Bepton Road at 9.30pm when the incident occured. She was attended to by ambulance paramedics and Firefighters from Midhurst at the scene and was found to be totally uninjured. Katie, a hairdresser at Expressions in Midhurst, was back at work as usual today.
page top - Midhurst index - Midhurst Fire Brigade - Fire Service index - Incident reports
posted 16:22 Monday 28 January 2008 - WSFRS Press release report
FIRE DAMAGES SOUTHDOWNS COUNTRY HOTEL, TROTTON
The hotel had been safely evacuated by staff before the arrival of the fire service.
Photo: ©Judi Lion - Midhurst Camera Club - click image to enlarge
Over sixty firefighters from both West Sussex and Hampshire have been tackling a blaze in the roof of a hotel in Trotton, near Midhurst today, [28/1]. The hotel has suffered structural damage but no-one has been injured.
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service was called at 11:38am when a fire alarm sounded at the Southdowns Hotel & Leisure Complex in Dumpford Lane, Trotton.
They initially mobilised four fire engines from stations at Midhurst [West Sussex], Petersfield and Liphook [Hampshire]. An Aerial Ladder Platform [ALP] was also mobilised from Worthing.
The Midhurst crew arrived to find a severe fire developing in the first floor and roof area of an annexe to the main hotel and Watch Commander Nigel Gamblen, in charge of the initial attendance, immediately requested pumps be increased to 8.
As the Hampshire crews arrived, teams of breathing apparatus wearers were committed inside to locate the main seat of the fire and try to prevent it spreading further. A Hampshire crew began to pump water for firefighting from a pond at the rear of the hotel whilst others began a salvage operation to remove furniture.
An additional two fire engines, plus a water-filled Bulk Fluid Carrier, a Control Unit, a Breathing Apparatus Support Unit and an ambulance were mobilised to give tactical support to the Incident Command System used by the firefighters.
The hotel is situated in a narrow country lane and Police were requested to close Dumpford Lane to prevent the access for emergency vehicles being blocked.
Although the fire had already spread into the roof space of the annexe, the breathing apparatus crews had been able to prevent it from spreading further before they had to be withdrawn for safety reasons when the fire-damaged part of the roof started to collapse.
Firefighting continued from the outside with fire crews working on a flat roof before the arrival of the ALP.
Once it was established that the fire had been mostly contained, crews working at height from the ALP removed roof tiles to ventilate the smoke and gain access to hidden hotspots that were still burning.
The damaged annexe is a two-storey building 20m x 15m containing ten guests rooms and linked to the main hotel by a ground floor lobby. Damage was contained to 70% of the roof and 50% of the first floor of the annexe, and the main hotel building was not affected.
Further salvage work continued throughout the afternoon and a Building Control Officer was requested to attend from Chichester District Council and advise on the structural safety of the damaged part of the roof.
A total of 14 BA wearers, 4 jets and 4 hosereels were used to bring the fire under control.
Fire Investigation Officers are working at the scene to try and find out exactly how the fire started.
return to incident reports
return to Fire service index
return to Trotton index
Sunday 17 Feb 2008
report time 18:42 GMT
FIRE DAMAGES COUNTRY HOUSE - PULBOROUGH
Firefighters have been tackling a major fire which has badly damaged a large country house near Pulborough in West Sussex this afternoon.
The alarm was raised when smoke and flames were seen pouring form the roof of the house in Toat Lane, Pulborough shortly after 1:30pm. Fire crews were mobilised from Billingshurst, Storrington, Arundel and Petworth who reported the smoke plume could be be seen from several miles away as they approached.
Pumps were increased to eight as the first crew to arrive found the whole of the roof alight. Everybody was brought out of the building when the roof started to collapse and firefighting was conducted from the outside.
Firefighters used water from a swimming pool and nearby hydrant. Sixty firefighters were in attendance at its height, and further crews will remain in attendance overnight.
The owners were in the house at the time but no-one has been injured. Incident Commander Paul Daley said the fire had caused a lot of structural damage but the outcome could have been a lot worse. "It's sad to see such a lovely house badly damaged like this but it could have been much worse if the fire had happened at night when the occupiers were asleep. Thankfully once the alarm was raised, everyone was able to get out safely."
Fire Investigation Officers have been in attendance and will return in the morning. Although the fire is believed to have started in the roof space, at this time the exact cause of the fire is unknown.
return to incident reports
Tuesday 24 June 2008
report time 15:59 GMT
FIRE CREWS RESCUE INJURED CONSTRUCTION WORKER
Location: HOUSE - NORFOLK ROAD LITTLEHAMPTON
Incident: Assistance - male adult fallen to 1st floor of scaffolding - treated at the scene by ambulance paramedics before being brought down to ground level by F&RS using basket stretcher - taken to hospital by ambulance
WrL Littlehampton, TRU, WrL Worthing
return to incident reports
Sunday 13 July 2008
report time 08:04 GMT
HOUSE FIRE - HAMPERS GREEN, PETWORTH
A family has escaped unhurt from a fire that badly damaged their house in Petworth this morning.
The fire started in the conservatory of a semi-detached house in Hampers Green, Petworth shortly after 8am. West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service mobilised 3 fire engines due to the number of calls they received stating the conservatory was well alight and spreading to the main roof structure of the house.
Two adults and two children were in the house at the time, but all escaped to safety along with the family dog after the alarm had been raised by one of the children smelling smoke.
The crew from Petworth Fire Station arrived shortly after and the Incident Commander sent an assistance message, ‘make pumps 6’ due to the severity of the fire. This was later increased to 8 to provide additional breathing apparatus wearers.
Crews brought the fire under control using 3 jets and 2 hosereels. They were able to prevent it spreading to the neighbouring house but said the conservatory, 80% of the first floor and roof, plus 50% of the ground floor had been damaged by fire, heat and smoke.
An investigation is under way to find out how the fire started but there is no early indication as to the cause. A fire investigation team is working with a Police SOCO and has been assisted by a specialist sniffer dog from Surrey Fire & Rescue Service.
The family have been helped by Red Cross volunteers from their Fire & Emergency Support Service. The building will have to be boarded up due to damage, and the family moved to temporary accommodation.
return to incident reports
10th August 2009
HAIR-RAISING INCIDENT FOR WORTHING COUPLE
A Worthing couple were woken early this morning when a chemical hair product combusted producing smoke and fumes.
The occupiers of the property had woken up when a smell described as an 'electrical burning' filled their bedroom. There was also a light smoke haze in the room. After conducting a search, the married couple located the source of the smell to a bag that was stored on the top shelf of their wardrobe. Other boxed items and general storage surrounded the box, and all were reasonably hot. The bag contained serveral chemical hair products, one of which had leaked and was giving off heat and smoke. They therefore took the bag outside and immediately alerted the rest of the household before calling the Fire Service.
Worthing fire crews were called at 04:36am to a detached house at Hayling Rise in Worthing. Upon investigation they discovered that the contents of the bag included an industrial concentrate hair product which had been stored in the wardrobe for up to two years. The products had already been removed to the front garden and the property was then ventilated using a positive pressure ventilation fan.
Fire Investigation Officer, Mark Hayter, said; "It's been concluded that there is no reason for this incident to be anything other than the accidental ignition of a product in the time it was in storage. It is believed that it had not been touched or moved in approximately two years. There were no other ignition sources in the area and no other product involved.
"The acid smell would have come from the plastic bag that had melted as a result of the heat that the product was giving off. The packaging of the product was destroyed so unfortunately the storage directions were unreadable."
There was no further damage to the property and the male and female occupiers, both 40, were given oxygen therapy by crews before being taken to hospital by Ambulance suffering minor breathing difficulties.
Mark added; "We would urge people to always follow manufacturers instructions. In this case it seems the occupiers couldn't have done anything to prevent this from happening, but had a fortunate escape in what could have turned into a more serious Incident.
"We will be carrying out further investigations to find more details from the manufacturers on storage and disposal of the product."
Date Added - 10th August 2009
BOSHAM DEATH WAS CAUSED BY FIRE
An inquest into the death of a Bosham man who died in January has found that he died from smoke inhalation.
Mark Robinson, 52, had been drinking heavily when a gas heater was knocked over at his property in Merryweather Road, setting the house ablaze on 12 January 2009.
The inquest, held in Chichester last week, heard that Mr Robinson had consumed alcohol up to four times the legal drink-drive limit. The gas heater in the living room of his house had slowly burned, eventually setting the carpet alight and spreading to the television. Neighbours were alerted to the fire when the ground floor windows blew out at 7.15am.
Mr Robinson's neighbour is Colin Netley, a former retained firefighter. Using his experience, Colin rushed across to the house and shouted at Mr Robinson to get out. He then attempted to extinguish the fire by putting a garden hose through the window and called the Fire Service.
The smoke alarm in the property had been taken down with the intention of replacing the batteries. Neither Mr Robinson nor his brother, Jonathan, who also lived there but was out at the time, had replaced them yet.
Deputy coroner Martin Milward said: "We believe that if any good should come of this tragedy we can highlight two particular issues.
"The first is that all dwellings should have a recognised and approved smoke alarm in working order situated in the premises, which in this case may have alerted somebody.
"The other issue raised is the dangers of excess alcohol consumption which people think about outside of one's home. There are also considerable dangers in one's own home.
"My conclusion is that Mark Robinson's death was an accident."
Jackie Boyle, Community Fire and Road Safety Officer for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said; "It is a sad tale and what makes even it sadder, is that we feel this was probably avoidable with just a £5 smoke alarm.
"Everyone chooses their own lifestyle and most people will feel like the occasional drink, but we want everybody to get an early warning by having a working smoke alarm as it should buy you vital time to take action in the event of a fire breaking out.
"If you would like a free Home Fire Safety Check which includes a complete audit of fire safety in your home and the possibility of a fitted smoke alarm, please call 0800 3286487"
WEST SUSSEX FIREFIGHTERS IN UK RESPONSE TO TSUNAMI DISASTER
A team of specially trained West Sussex firefighters have been deployed to Indonesia to help with search and rescue operations as part of the international response to the tsunami.
The firefighters are part of a 60-strong team leaving the UK from Gatwick Airport on a 2am flight to Jakarta, and include doctors, sniffer dogs and colleagues from six other UK Fire & Rescue Services including Hampshire, Essex and Kent.
The four West Sussex firefighters are from the county’s Technical Rescue Unit based at Horley Fire Station that are equipped to respond to disasters at home or abroad such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and collapsed buildings.
Their equipment is used to locate trapped casualties and remove them to safety using cutting and shoring up techniques.
The duration of the humanitarian mission to Indonesia is unknown but could last up to 14 days.
page top - - Fire Service Index
- - Rother Valley incident reports 2006 - 2008
- - West Sussex incident reports - 2009 - 2010
most recent incident reports