Back to drawing board for King’s Lynn new station after Downham Market blaze

Fire & Emergency news from the Lynn News,, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
Fire & Emergency news from the Lynn News,, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
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Fire chiefs are going back to the drawing board with plans to build a new station in Lynn following the disaster at their Downham site.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue are learning lessons from the blaze which destroyed the Downham station two weeks ago by looking at adding sprinkler and central alarm systems for the new site in South Lynn.

Investigators from the Cambridgeshire brigade informed Norfolk chiefs of their preliminary findings during a meeting on Thursday last week. The blaze is believed to have been sparked within the Mann engine but the probe continues.

Assistant chief fire officer Roy Harold said: “We are going back to the plans of the new station at Lynn to see if there is anything we need to put in the building. We don’t want to be in the process of putting up a new station without learning the lessons coming from this.

“An example is sprinkler systems. We have been talking to fire brigades across the country to find out if they have sprinkler systems. Some do, some don’t.”

Just a shell of the Downham station remains after flames and explosions ripped through the building during the early hours of March 11.

The 18-month-old fire engine, a rescue raft and much of the station’s equipment were destroyed in the blaze.

A new engine was despatched to the town within hours of the fire and the crew has been set-up in the former custody suites at neighbouring police station.

Mr Harold said the site is now fenced off and the brigade is looking at a safety demolition to ensure no-one is injured.

He said: “We are now likely to look at options for sharing the site more with the police rather than re-building what we had there.

“We can talk to the police and ambulance service to see if there is a possibility of doing something corroboratively.

“Police are using garages for their vehicles and we only had a bay for one vehicle and no training facilities. We could work to give the police more space and ourselves.”