Community praised as firefighters tackle blaze
The people of Crewe have been praised for their goodwill, generosity and kindness following a substantial fire in the town.
Within minutes of the blaze being reported at a supported living complex in Rolls Avenue on the afternoon of Thursday 8 August, local residents had turned up to offer support, donate items and provide lifts for some of those affected by the incident.
Superintendent Pete Crowcroft, who oversees policing in the area, commended locals for the way they rallied round to help others.
He said: “This is a very large fire in a building that is at the heart of the community. Naturally, this will have a significant impact on those living close by and they will clearly be concerned for all those affected. But the response shown last night within minutes of the incident being reported was nothing short of remarkable and I want to thank every single person who has helped or offered help in some way.
“Your kind hearted gesture will have been very much appreciated by everyone involved and I’m sure will have brought some comfort to the residents affected by the fire.”
Throughout the night 16 fire engines from Cheshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire and Merseyside were in attendance to get the blaze under control.
This morning, more than 12 hours after the fire started, firefighters remain at the scene and are likely to remain there today and into the weekend.
Crews, wearing breathing apparatus, have used a variety of equipment to fight the fire from the ground including hose reel jets, main jets and high volume pumps. They have also used two aerial platforms to tackle the blaze from height.
The building has sustained significant damage and has partially collapsed.
A small number of residents living in two streets next to the building were evacuated overnight as a precaution.
Residents living nearby are continuing to be advised to keeping their windows and doors closed as there is a lot of smoke in the area.
Neil Griffiths, who is the fire commander in charge of the incident, said: “This is a substantial fire in a very large and complex building. More than 70 firefighters have been at the scene overnight tackling the blaze – the response effort has been immense and I want to thank each and every one of them.
“Our efforts have been hampered by the weather, the layout of the site and the access to it but I want to reassure everyone that we are doing all that we can to bring the fire under control as quickly as possible. The response from the local community has been amazing and we are very appreciative of their support.”
Residents were evacuated following the incident and initially taken to nearby rest centres – arrangements for alternative accommodation is being made for them. A small number of people were taken to hospital to be checked over.
A number of different agencies – including Cheshire Police, Cheshire Fire and Rescue, Cheshire East Council, North West Ambulance Service, NHS England, Public Health England and the Environment Agency – are working together as part of a multi-agency response to the incident and everything is being done to support any residents affected through this difficult time.
Mark Palethorpe, acting executive director people, Cheshire East Council, said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Crewe community for rallying around to support those affected by the terrible fire at Beechmere. The community spirit shown has been overwhelming.
“We have seen very many people offering help, donations and other support both at the rest centre at Crewe Lifestyle Centre and, earlier in the evening, at the site itself.
“We are also aware of the following collection points that have been set up for donations of clothes, towels, bedding and toiletries - Eight Farmers, Crewe, Albert's Corner, Four Eagles, Mecca Bingo, Rainbow Day Nursery, Haslington, Crewe Town FC (5pm - 6.30pm on Friday 9 August), Cumberland Arena, VWJ Earthmoving Ltd (from 7am on Friday 9 August).
“I’d also like to thank our staff who worked so hard through the night, with our partners, to support the residents into alternative accommodation.”
The Salvation Army and British Red Cross has also provided support at the site throughout the night into the morning – for both residents affected by the incident and firefighters who remain at the scene.
A number of road closures remain in place and are likely to stay throughout the day. They include:
- Minshull New Road at the junction with Rolls Avenue.
- Badger Avenue at the junction with Minshull New Road.
- Frank Butt Avenue at the junction with Badger Avenue.
- Underwood Lane at the junction with Windsor Avenue.
Anyone living in the local area who has any concerns is urged to call 101. Any relatives with any concerns can call 101 quoting IML 480541.
Date published: Tue, 13 Aug 2019 16:53:17 GMT