UK Fire Safety News

Sandhill Park Fire - Four jailed

Arsonists who set fire to a Grade II-listed mansion in Somerset have been jailed.

Stuart Walter, 23, of Lympsham, Nathan Goldfinch and Marcus Tancock, both 20 and from Weston, and Liam Grant, 19, of Cheddar all pleaded guilty to arson.

The "particularly dangerous" fire, at Sandhill Park, cost Devon and Somerset Fire £30,000 to deal with, Taunton Crown Court heard. The judge said it was an "extreme case of mindless vandalism, planned and carefully executed". Tancock was sentenced to a total of 27 months for arson and dangerous driving. Walter and Goldfinch were sentenced to 12 and 18 months respectively for arson. Grant was sentenced to a total of 21 months for arson and two counts of fraud.

Fire risk assessments will evaluate any risk to property from arson. For more information on Fire risk assessments click here.

Putney house fire: Man's body found

A man's body has been discovered following a fire in a house in south-west London. Fire crews were called to Holroyd Road, in Putney, at about 05:00 GMT.

The first floor and the loft conversion was alight and 21 firefighters took three hours to put the blaze out. They then found the body of the man. An investigation into the cause of the fire has been launched by the London Fire Brigade and the Metropolitan Police.

Wrexham Maelor hospital wards evacuated after fire

Twenty-seven patients, including three infants, were led to safety following a late-night fire at a hospital. Firefighters were called to Wrexham Maelor Hospital on Friday after a small blaze was reported in a room off the unoccupied outpatient ward.

Smoke affected two other wards leading to the evacuation of patients but there were no reports of injuries. Three infants from an adjacent special care unit were also evacuated as a precaution. They were returned to the unit after the fire was extinguished. The remaining patients are being cared for elsewhere at the hospital.

The exact cause of the fire is being investigated but it is thought to be accidental. Three fire crews from Wrexham and one from Johnstown were called to the hospital at 23:39 GMT after staff raised the alarm. Firefighters found a small fire on the ground floor which was extinguished. Smoke had travelled up to the first floor of the building affecting mainly two wards which were evacuated.

Seven people rescued from burning flat in Gwynedd

Seven people have been rescued from a burning flat in Gwynedd.

North Wales Fire crews were called to the incident in Barmouth High Street at 19:38 GMT on Thursday. A fire control officer gave the family fire survival advice over the telephone as a crew rushed to the scene. Firefighters from Barmouth arrived within four minutes and were able to rescue the family from a first floor window using a ladder.

Crews from Dolgellau and Harlech were also sent to the scene, with police and ambulance staff in attendance. A fire service spokesman said the woman who rang 999 was "very good on the phone". She told the fire service how she, her brother, her partner and four children were trapped inside the property as the fire blocked their escape route. "She stayed calm and relayed the information to the other people there," the spokesman added. The property is above a commercial premises. Crews used breathing apparatus, hose reels and a thermal imaging camera to tackle the fire, which is thought to have started in the communal hallway. The family was treated at the scene and no one had to be taken to hospital.

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Derelict House Fire in Somerset

Firefighters have put out a blaze started at a derelict hospital in Somerset, in what is thought to have been a deliberate attack.

The former Butleigh Hospital building, situated near Street, caught alight in the early hours of yesterday (February 6th) morning and left fire safety officers and others working to put it out for several hours. Several calls were made to the local fire service at just after 01:00 GMT, prompting a response from both Street and Glastonbury brigades. However, after seeing the roof was well alight, an additional two fire engines from Castle Cary and Wells were sent to the scene.

Indeed, the severity meant an Incident Command Unit was also sent from Wiveliscombe, before another two fire units arrived from Wells and Birdgwater to suppress the fire. The conflagration spread from the ground floor, to the first storey and the roof and therefore took a couple of hours to get under control. At around 04:00 GMT, a more thorough investigation took place with fire crews checking for hotspots. Following this, an external search of the premises was carried out and the response scaled down to three fire appliances.

Speaking at 05:20 GMT - four hours after the fire started - Devon and Somerset Fire Rescue Service said: "This derelict property of three storeys was used as a former hospital measuring approximately 60 metres by 30 metres."The fire has been contained to the west wing of the premises, roughly 25 per cent, which has been destroyed on all three storeys and the roof. Crews used four jets, an aerial appliance and working from height with a 135 ladder to extinguish the fire. The cause of the fire is deliberate."

Non-domestic premises in England and Wales must have a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Investigations underway after fire exit blaze

The dangers of obstructing fire exits were again highlighted last week after firefighters were called out to a blaze in the stairwell of a block of flats in Leicestershire.

One woman was checked over by paramedics because of smoke inhalation after the incident last Thursday (January 31st) in Rutland Street, Melton, but residents had a lucky escape. The Leicester Mercury reveals that while initial reports suggested the block of flats - with four people and a dog - was on fire, the conflagration was actually consigned to a stairwell. Upon arrival, fire crews found that a sofa had been dumped in front of the fire exit and had caught alight - forcing four firefighters to enter wearing breathing equipment. Residents were also asked to remain in their flats while the blaze was tackled.

Communal areas in these types of buildings require a fire risk assessment under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and to act on any of the hazards identified. Failure to do so can lead to an unlimited fine or a prison sentence of up to two years for the Responsible Person.

For further information on fire risk assessments click here.