Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Inconsiderately parked car blocks firefighters' route to house fire

Brunswick Road, Southend-on-Sea
27/07/2020 @ 03:01
Incident Number: 127426
In attendance: 2 x Southend, 1 x Leigh

Firefighters have urged drivers to be more considerate in where they leave their vehicles after they were blocked on their way to a house fire this morning by a badly parked car.

Crews were called to reports of a shed fire in Southend. While on their way, they were informed that the fire had spread to an adjacent semi-detached property - but before they could get there, they were stopped in their tracks by a car which blocked the road.

Adam Paterson, Crew Manager at Southend Fire Station, said: "By blocking our route, this badly parked car added several minutes to our journey to the house affected by this fire.

"There was no alternative route - and we knew that for every minute that we struggled to get past, the fire would be getting worse. Fortunately on this occasion, everyone inside the house had managed to get out safely when we arrived.

"It wasn't the only car which was double-parked - it is incredibly frustrating. If you're a driver, please think: we can't help you if we can't get through. Always consider whether a fire engine could get past before leaving your vehicle - even if you aren't planning to leave it there for long."

By the time crews arrived, the fire had spread to the kitchen of the property and several other sheds were also alight.

Firefighters managed to extinguish the fire by 3.27am. The property has been left uninhabitable by smoke damage. We believe this fire was caused accidentally.

Smoke alarms save lives: get yours for free!

The family of five who lived in this home were asleep when this fire began, but were crucially alerted to the danger when smoke alarms sounded. That gave them the opportunity to get out safely, before it was too late.

We want every property in Essex to be protected by working smoke alarms - so if you don't have them in your home, we'll come and fit them for free!

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