Monday, 31 March 2014

Serious fire at the Phoenix Theatre in Lewes



A serious fire at the Phoenix Theatre in Lewes on Saturday 29th March is believed to have started accidentally.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service were called to the theatre on North Street, Lewes at 18.11 on Saturday.

Up to 40 firefighters from Lewes, Newhaven, Uckfield, Hailsham and Hove tackled the fire and were able to prevent it spreading to surrounding buildings. Crews also used the Aerial Ladder Platform from Brighton.

The fire caused serious damage to the building, but the occupants evacuated quickly and there were no reports of injuries.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Smoke detectors fitted by fire service give early warning



Firefighters attended a house fire in Hastings in the early hours of this morning (28th March).

Two people had evacuated the property by the time crews arrived.

The residents received an early warning due to smoke detectors fitted by East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service during a free home safety visit.  The early warning given not only allowed a full evacuation but resulted in firefighters being able to successfully contain the fire to the room that it started in.

Three fire appliances from Bohemia Road and The Ridge were sent to the incident at 5.37am at a house in St Helens Park Road, Hastings.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used one hose reel to tackle the fire, as well as a Positive Pressure Ventilation Fan to clear smoke from the building.

Station Commander Paul Way said: “Working smoke alarms saved life and prevented what could have been a potentially serious fire".

“We would also like to take this opportunity to encourage people to carry out night-time safety checks before heading off to bed. This would include safely discarding of cigarettes, closing doors and switching off any electrical equipment, as well as not leaving the television on standby.”

Two people were taken to hospital following the fire suffering from breathing in smoke, as well as burns. An ambulance also attended, with a full fire investigation underway. The cause of the fire is believed to be accidental.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Fridge freezer fire in Nutley

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service tackled a fire in a fridge freezer in Nutley.


A neighbour raised the alarm at 09.06 on 26 March 2014.

Crews from Uckfield and Crowborough attended an address on Nether Lane.

They used breathing apparatus and jets to put out the fire, which was in a utility room.

The fire was found to be accidental.

Three people suffer smoke inhalation after Hastings car fire

Crew from Hastings Bohemia Road were called out yesterday morning (26 March 2014) at 11.36 to reports of a car fire.

They attended the scene at Chatham Road.

Fire-fighting foam and hose reels were used, along with breathing apparatus, to tackle the fire.

Three members of the public were treated for smoke inhalation by ambulance crews.


The fire was accidental.

Chimney fire tackled in Eastbourne

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service tackled a chimney fire yesterday 27 March 2014.

Crews from Eastbourne were called out to an address on Attfield Walk at 17.26.

Someone in a neighbouring property reported seeing fire from the roof of another home.

It was confirmed as an accidental chimney fire.

Man released from car after RTC in Halland

Firefighters from Uckfield were called out at 19.40 last night (26 March 2014) to reports that a car had hit a tree.

They attended the scene on Lewes Road in Halland.

One man was trapped in the car.

Crews used cutting gear to release him and made the area safe.

Passerby alerts fire service after hearing smoke alarm in Westham

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service was called out at 18.37 on 26 March 2014 to an address in Westham.

A passerby could hear a smoke alarm going off in a ground floor flat at a property in a high street.

A second caller reported seeing smoke from a kitchen.

Crews from Eastbourne arrived and entered the flat wearing breathing apparatus to put out a fire in a saucepan. 

A PPV fan was then used to clear the smoke.



Is it high time you tested your smoke alarms?


The clock could be ticking for you and your family if you don’t make time to test your smoke alarms.

You are at least four times more likely to die in a fire at home if you don’t have smoke alarms or you have them, but they don’t work. That is why East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) is backing the national Fire Kills – Tick, Tock Test campaign and urging all households to test their smoke alarms when they change the clocks this weekend (29/30th March 2014).

Our firefighters regularly attend incidents where lives have been saved by correctly positioned and working smoke alarms. Recent examples include:

·         In January a family, including six children, escaped safely from a house fire in the early hours of the morning after an electrical fault caused a blaze in the roof of a house in Mayfield. Smoke alarms gave the family the warning they needed to get everyone out safely and call the fire service.

·         In March a family from Saltdean got out safely after a kitchen fire took hold in the early hours of the morning. They had been woken by smoke alarms fitted to the property, which suffered significant damage.

To give you the best chance of getting out safely, make sure that smoke alarms are fitted to every level in your home and that they are tested regularly. The twice-yearly clock change acts as a handy reminder, but we recommend that you test your alarms every month if possible.

Other top tips include:
  • Fit smoke alarms on landings and hallways and in rooms where there are electrical appliances, such as electric heaters, that could present a risk.
  • Make sure that you can hear your smoke alarms throughout the house, particularly from the bedrooms – even if the door is closed.
  • Have a well-worked evacuation plan in place and share it with everyone you live with. You need to be able to get out quickly and safely when your smoke alarms sound.
  • Keep all exits clear and place door and window keys where they can be easily found.
  • Check that your smoke alarm is in date – a recommended date of replacement should be printed on the casing. If in doubt, replace it.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service provides free Home Safety Visits to eligible households which offer valuable fire safety home advice and, where appropriate, free smoke alarms to vulnerable members of the community. Our Community Safety Team has distributed and installed more than 105,000 domestic smoke alarms since 2004.

Further information about smoke alarms is available on our website. You can also register for a Home Safety Visit on our website or by calling the team on 0800 1777 069.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

East Sussex firefighters make humanitarian trip to Moldova




Firefighters and officers from across East Sussex are joining forces with other fire services around the country to deliver four fire appliances to Moldova.

Operation Florian is a UK-based humanitarian charity, run largely, but not exclusively by serving and retired members of the Fire and Rescue Service. It delivers fire appliances throughout the world to those communities in dire need of the latest equipment, training and consultancy.

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service firefighters form a very active part of the charity and dedicate their free time to the cause.  In recent years, they have helped to deliver aid in Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Zimbabwe.

The latest project involves a total of twelve members of the service, three of whom have previously worked on another humanitarian project.

Thirteen volunteers from services across the United Kingdom will depart from Eastbourne on the 27th April at 9am, including the ESFRS contingent. They will drive four donated fire appliances and equipment across Europe, a trip of more than 1,700 miles, with the journey taking approximately four days.

On 3rd May a team of 15 instructors from across the country will then fly to Moldova where they will provide valuable training to firefighters from four municipalities. They will be shown how to use the fire appliance and equipment, as well as crucial first aid skills and essential road traffic collision training.

Craig Kelsall, who is the Project Manager, said: “Firefighters from East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service are passionate about supporting this charity and the work they do, as we have seen firsthand the immense impact that it has had on communities far less privileged then us. It is a very humbling experience and one that we wish to continue supporting.”

Further training will be provided to four ‘Salvatori’ or 'Saviour' units. These units are located in the Capital city, Chisinau, and in Balti, Comrat and Cahul. The Salvatori units are already specialist rescue teams, but training will be provided to up-skill their trauma care skills and their rescue capability at road traffic collisions, especially when there is the involvement of large goods vehicles and coaches.

The team will be in Moldova for two weeks and during that time training will be provided for more than 75 firefighters.

Moldova was until 1991 part of the Soviet Union and managed to achieve its independent status relatively painlessly.  Politically it is westward looking and has aspirations to join the EU.  However it has a long-running disagreement with Russia concerning the breakaway region of Transnistria, which is seeking independence from Moldova, and this dispute is seriously hindering the country’s progress.

About 1.5 times the size of Wales, and with a population of 3.6 million people, Moldova is officially recognised as the poorest country in Europe.  Its fire service is run by the Ministry of the Interior and is a well-disciplined organisation but it seriously lacks modern fire appliances and equipment.  The country’s roads are among the worst in Europe and it has an appalling road safety record.  Road crash survivability rates are less than one tenth of those in western Europe, with extended attendance times, a lack of even basic RTC equipment and training and variable trauma care standards all contributing to this shocking statistic.

Operation Florian has agreed to become part of an ambitious multi-agency project with the express intention of reducing this terrible loss of life and serious injury.  The project is being run in support of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety which aims to save 5 million lives worldwide.  Our part in the action plan is to help improve the post-crash response by providing a number of modern, fully-equipped fire appliances, additional RTC equipment together with high quality training in both extrication techniques and casualty trauma care.

Our UK project partners are the Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport, a road safety charity with extensive experience in eastern Europe, and the United Kingdom Rescue Organisation.  In Moldova we are working with the emergency services, the Ministry of the Interior, the Automobile Club of Moldova, local councils and the British Embassy.