Felixstowe: Full-time fire crews face fresh threat
CAMPAIGNERS today pledged to fight any fresh attempts to axe Felixstowe’s full-time firefighters after the crew’s rapid response prevented a blaze from spreading following a thunderbolt.
It has now emerged the crews are only safe for two years – and fire chiefs say it is still their intention to see it become a fully on-call fire station.
Meanwhile, families were still counting the cost of the devastating lightning strike, which left one couple homeless and dozens of other households with no phones, computers, TV boxes, microwaves and other electrical equipment.
Many have been told by insurance companies they will have to wait up to six days for damaged items to be collected and examined to see if they can be repaired or have to be replaced.
Thanks to firefighters’ quick work, Paul and Natalie Rogers managed to salvage their precious wedding photos, their three-piece suite and their teenage son’s laptop from the remains of their house.
But the property in Alexandra Road, Walton, has been left a charred shell, with little left except the outside walls.
The couple, and their pet dog Blade, which was rescued from the fire by brave neighbours, are staying with family in King Street while they negotiate with their insurers over the future of their home.
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Evening Star Save Our Fire Crews campaigner Ian Heeley said the blaze had illustrated perfectly why it was essential the resort kept its full-time fire crew.
“The crew was here in four minutes and did a fantastic job – if it had taken longer than that the whole terrace block might have gone up,” said Mr Heeley.
“This was a prime example of how vital they are and why we need to fight as hard as we can to ensure they are kept.
“Tragedy can strike at any time and it is ludicrous to think we would have to wait for back-up from Ipswich.”
County councillors have agreed to keep the full-time fire crews five days a week but are still looking for a staged reduction to remove them altogether and will be continually reviewing the situation.
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