Passers-by tackle bin blaze under Sidmouth landmark
06:00 23 May 2014
QUICK-THINKING beachgoers prevented Jacob’s Ladder from being damaged by a blaze caused by smouldering disposable barbecues dumped in a public bin underneath the landmark.
Rachel Perram and friends put out a fire which began in a receptacle that was chained to the wooden landmark on Saturday (May 17) afternoon.
Rachel, 43, of Convent Road, hopes that highlighting the incident will encourage others to be responsible with beach barbecues and ensure they are properly put out before they are disposed of.
She has also suggested that metal mesh bins are installed on the seafront.
Rachel was enjoying the hot weather with pals at her beach hut when she spotted the fire in the wheelie bin.
She said it was caused by four ‘burning’ disposable barbecues. Rachel added: “I have contacted the [district] council on several occasions and asked them to install metal mesh bins by the beach.
“These are common on beaches in Cornwall and are ideal as they contain these sorts of accidents.
“This is not an isolated incident, disposable barbecues are routinely left on the promenade, which are often still lit and pose a burn hazard to pedestrians and children.
“If this had happened later on in the day, no-one would have seen this fire and chaining the bin to the wooden frame of Jacob’s Ladder was foolish in the extreme.”
The landmark was recently the subject of £4,500 of extensive repairs to its timber steps due to storm damage inflicted by wild winter weather.
Rachel said she was told by a council worker that the bin under the landmark has since been moved.