Downham Market firefighters to stay with police

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The ruins of Downham’s fire station will be making way for garage space after the police and fire services agreed to share a site.

The retained crew of firefighters have been using the former cells at the town’s police station since the devastating blaze in March.

Fire Investigators at Downham Market Fire Station ANL-140313-140401001

Fire Investigators at Downham Market Fire Station ANL-140313-140401001

Flames ripped through the Ryston Close building and its roof after a series of explosions destroying an 18-month-old fire engine.

Investigators are still looking into the causes of the blaze, which was initially believed sparked from the engine.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue and the county’s police force have now agreed to share a site. The existing police station will be re-developed to fit in both services.

Roy Harold, deputy chief fire officer, said: “Due to the success of Downham fire crews’ temporary use of the town’s police station next to the former site of the fire station, the two services have agreed to make this arrangement permanent.

“The area where the fire station building formerly stood will be used as garage space to house both police and fire vehicles.

“This arrangement has proved to be a mutually cost effective way of working and will allow more money to go towards boosting frontline services in the area.

“Sharing the premises will also allow for greater flexibility in the future, with the aim being that all three emergency services will work more closely together in Downham.”

Residents living around the Ryston Close station were woken and asked to evacuate during the early hours of March 11.

Firefighters from Lynn, Methwold, Swaffham, Terrington St Clement along with colleagues from Littleport and Wisbech were called in to tackle the flames.

They were supported by a water carrier from Fakenham and the control unit from Wymondham.

A new fire engine was delivered to the town within hours of the blaze and the community rallied around to offer new equipment to the firefighters.