Reassurance to residents following ‘deliberate’ fire at Sidmouth flats

Google view of Arcot Park.

Google view of Arcot Park. - Credit: Archant

An increase in fire prevention measures has been put in place following a deliberate blaze at sheltered accomodation in Sidmouth.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) says it has taken action to reassure residents living in flats in Arcot Park after a communal door was set on fire.

In the early hours of May 3, the fire service sent two crews from Sidmouth and one from Ottery to extinguished flames.

There was only one person in the block at the time, who had called the fire service reporting smoke coming into their flat, they were uninjured.

A fire service spokeswoman said the incident was being treated as deliberate and had been reported to the police.

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Peter Sullivan, chairman of the Lymbourne and Arcot Park Residents’ Association, raised concerns at a Local Action Group meeting after waking up to blue flashing lights in the early hours of the morning on May 3.

He told the Herald: “I live one block away and the distance between them is nothing for a fire.

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“It’s all in the news, especially with the news of Grenfell.

“Anyone who lives in a block of flats now has a different attitude than they did before.

“It was very small, but it has raised a lot of different issues about safety.”

EDDC has installed a fire door in every flat, which can prevent flames spreading for up to an hour.

A council spokeswoman said: “We have been advised that the fire was started deliberately.

“Following the fire, the council contacted all residents to provide reassurance and we continue to work closely with the fire service to ensure their safety.

“We have a zero tolerance policy on items being left in communal areas to reduce the risk of fire and we have carried out improvement works such as fitting all individual flats with a fire door, which provides residents with a means of protection if there is a fire within the communal area.

“Further works have included fire stopping within flats, renewing fire breaks and renewing fire doors in communal hallways.”

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