Ottery inferno catastrophe near miss sparks cable call

AN Ottery town-centre inferno catastrophe close-call has sparked civic leaders into re-igniting a bid for underground power lines.

Last week’s tale of quick-thinking lorry driver Cedric Dare’s desperate dash away from residents, homes and shops when a 20-tonne hay-load caught fire has led to town councillors renewing a call to banish overhead cables supported by “grotty” poles. It is believed the16feet high bales touched a live power line in Hind Street, sparking the flames at around 1pm last Tuesday.

Mr Dare, 46, literally blazed a 400meter trail through country lanes to safely jettison the burning load in a field after startled town-centre on-lookers dialled 999 as he approached Tip Hill.

Town councillors agreed on Monday to write to Western Power and district and county councils with a view to them considering “safer” underground cabling.

Such work has previously been carried out in Paternoster Row.

“Because we have had a potential disaster, perhaps they could look at it and we could talk about it,” deputy mayor Ian Holmes told the Herald.

“A few years ago they were put underground in Paternoster Row. We’ve been on about it ever since as one of the things we want around the town. The posts in Mill Street are grotty and rusty as well.

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“What allegedly happened last week has highlighted this again and brought it to the fore.”