Sidmouth councillor’s fire hydrant call

PUBLISHED: 14:41 07 January 2011

DOUSED: More than 80 firefighters battled to get flames under control. Photo by Alison McNally

DOUSED: More than 80 firefighters battled to get flames under control. Photo by Alison McNally

Alison McNally

A SIDMOUTH representative is hopeful fire service bosses will improve Sidmouth’s provision of water hydrants after a major blaze ‘shut’ the town.

A SIDMOUTH representative is hopeful fire service bosses will improve the sea front provision of water hydrants after a major blaze ‘shut’ the town.

County Councillor Stuart Hughes said last Thursday’s Fortfield Hotel inferno could be “a blessing in disguise” if action is taken as a result.

Every route out of the town-centre, bar one, was shut by police as firefighters pumped water for more than a mile from the mouth of the River Sid.

Cllr Hughes said he held positive talks with the fire service about the need for more hydrants near Sidmouth sea front.

“A town like Sidmouth, with vast amounts of hotels and listed buildings, should have an adequate supply of hydrants without the need to extract water from the river,” he said.

“If a fire happened in the height of summer during a heat-wave or drought, when the river is low, we would have a serious problem. I’ve drawn attention to the risk and what we require.”

Mr Hughes praised the “brilliant job” of firefighters at the Fortfield.

Police Sergeant Andy Turner apologised for any inconvenience caused by road closures. He added: “Needs must in circumstances like this.”

He said it would have been “impossible” to let traffic near high pressure hoses used to pump water.


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