Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Firefighters rescue elderly woman in Uckfield

Firefighters were contacted after an elderly lady fell over and used her lifeline personal alarm system to contact the emergency services.

Three fire engines attended the incident in Shaftbury Court, London Road, on 24th February at 12.18pm.

The 92-year-old left a pan of milk on the stove, which she inadvertently left on when she fell over and was unable to get back up.

When crews from Uckfield and Crowborough arrived they forced entry to gain access to the ground-floor flat in sheltered accommodation.

Firefighters found the woman on the floor of the kitchen, with a burnt out saucepan on the cooker which had burnt itself out.

Crews ventilated the flat and gave the elderly woman oxygen therapy until an ambulance arrived. Firefighters will be carrying out a home safety visit this week.

Fire at specialist waste recycling site in Lewes

Firefighters quick actions prevented the spread of fire at Light Brothers in Lewes.

Six fire engines, along with two water bowsers, were sent to the site in Greystone Quarry, Southerham, on 21st February at 7.38pm.

Crews from Lewes, Hove, Preston Circus, Newhaven and Barcombe attended and tackled the blaze, in the main building, which was very quickly brought under control.

The Incident Command Unit was also requested to attend and crews remained at the scene until 12.16am the following day.

A fire investigation was carried out at the site and the cause identified as accidental, after a fire started whilst maintenance work was being undertaken.

Firefighters rescue steer in trouble

Specialist animal rescue crews were called upon after a large steer got stuck in a boggy field in Buxted.

Two specialist teams from Crowborough, along with Uckfield firefighters, were called to the incident on Saturday (23rdFebruary) in Limes Lane, at 6.08pm.

Two firefighters wore dry suits, to protect themselves, whilst carrying out the muddy rescue.

Crews decided that the best way to rescue the cow was to use rescue paths, which are inflatable paths designed for wet, boggy or unstable ground. 

The steer was fitted with a line around both horns to enable the head to be controlled during the manoeuvre.  

Watch Commander Bob Beard said:

The steer was not lifted, due to its weight and size, but winched up in order to free its right side and then winched to the firm ground over the very muddy and wet field to firm ground.

 “We fitted an eight foot strop at the front and rear of the steer. Firefighters were advised of the movements of the other cattle and we had a carbon dioxide extinguisher on standby, in case there was a requirement for scaring them away.

“A vet was requested and it was deemed necessary to fit the strops, prior to his attendance. As soon as the vet attended I gave him a full brief of the situation.

“In order to be able to train the crane, a line was attached to the winch karabiner and three firefighters assisted manually. This required extremely skilful manoeuvring, due to the limits of the crane being reached, owing to the size of the cow.

“The steer was then led to an area of firm ground where I was able to apply a nose pinch to the cow. This procedure is carried out in order to calm the cow and then the crew were able to successfully remove the strops. The cow was then left in the safe hands of a vet.”

Crews left the incident at 8.52pm.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Rise in chimney fires sparks safety warning

People are being urged to sweep their chimney on a regular basis following a sharp increase in the number of chimney fires over the past two months.

This year, there have been 82 chimney fires (between 1st January and 25th February) compared to 60 for the same period for last year and this month alone there have already been 42 chimney fires.

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service takes these figures seriously and would like to encourage homeowners to follow the necessary precautions to safeguard against fire.

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service wishes to remind householders of the importance of ensuring that chimneys are swept regularly and are clean and safe for use. 

Steve Wright, Community Safety Manager, said: "Chimney fires are a common cause of fire in dwellings and can cause widespread damage.

“An open fire is an ideal way to keep warm but without proper maintenance a chimney can become dangerous. In the last two years alone we have attended more than 455 incidents involving chimney fires.”

"To keep yourself and your family safe from fire you should have your chimney swept regularly. If the worst should happen, a smoke alarm can give you the extra time you need to escape in a house fire. Make sure you test yours regularly."

Please follow these safety tips:
  • Ensure your chimney is swept regularly
  • Keep chimneys and flues clean and well maintained
  • Be careful when using open fires to keep warm. Make sure you always protect against flying sparks from hot embers
  • Ensure the fire is extinguished before going to bed or leaving the house
  • Chimneys should be swept according to the type of fuel used (always consult your NACS chimney sweep for advice).
  • Never interrupt the air supply by blocking air vents or air bricks
To find a certified chimney sweep, or for more information on chimney fire safety, please visit - External Link or

Monday, 18 February 2013

Uckfield cinema evacuation sparks electrical safety warning

Uckfield Picture house was evacuated yesterday afternoon (Sunday) when a smell of burning filled one of the cinemas in the historic building.

Two fire engines from Forest Row and Uckfield were sent to the cinema in the High Street, Uckfield, at just after 3.30pm.

Firefighters used a thermal imaging camera to locate a small electrical fire in some low voltage stair safety lighting.

Watch Manager Ian Ritchie said: “The Picture House staff had done an excellent job in evacuating 240 people from the three cinemas by the time we arrived”.

The power to the lights was isolated and once confirmed as safe the customers were allowed back in to continue with their matinee performances.

While incidents involving low voltage lighting are uncommon, this serves as a timely reminder to all to ensure that all electrical equipment is maintained, repaired or replaced by a qualified electrician.