Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Major fire at Flimwell furniture warehouse

Sussex and Kent firefighters battled through the night to tackle a blaze at a furniture warehouse in Flimwell, after flames ripped through the building.

A number of emergency 999 calls were made alerting East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service to the incident.

Cranbrook  firefighters were first on the scene at the incident at Country Furniture Barns, Hawkhurst Road, Flimwell, on Friday (5th October) at 11.09pm.

They were closely followed by the rescue pumps from Wadhurst, Burwash,  two pumping appliances from Battle and a further fire appliance from Tunbridge Wells.  The Incident Command Unit from Bexhill, Water Bowser's from Uckfield and Burgess Hill and  the Aerial Ladder Platform from Hastings also attended.

When crews arrived they were met with a rapidly developing fire spreading from the workshop area at the rear of the building.

At its height, there were around fifty firefighters at the incident which was later scaled down to four fire engines at 3.30am. It wasn't until 7.30am that this was reduced to two fire engines, which remained there until 10.46am the following day. A fire investigation got underway during the daytime and the incident was finally closed at 5.36pm on Saturday (6th October).

Incident Commander Pup Upton said:

"Thankfully, there were no people involved in this fire and so we were able to take defensive action. Although when we arrived it was necessary to deploy Firefighters wearing Breathing Apparatus to retrieve a small quantity of fireworks that were stored in the back office kitchen and to salvage some of the furniture before the fire spread to these areas".

"Firefighters managed to safely retrieve the fireworks, so they didn't become involved in the fire. However, despite our best efforts the furniture workshop and showroom were totally destroyed by the fire but we managed to save the adjacent premises used as a shop and office and so they were able to open up and continue trading the following day".

"The gas and electricity board were also called to the scene to isolate the relevant supplies, as well as making the area safe".

"Our overall message for the business community is to ensure that they have a current fire risk assessment, to ensure there are suitable and sufficient preventative and protective fire safety measures in place,  which are reviewed on a regular basis - at a minimum at least once a year".

"Also, this is a timely reminder in the lead-up to bonfire night to secure any fireworks in accordance with the manufacturer's guidance and instructions. We would also suggest attending an organised firework display wherever possible."

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