Spalding fire tragedy: are more lives at risk?

A firefighter damping down at the Tower Lane house where three died. SG010516-108TW
A firefighter damping down at the Tower Lane house where three died. SG010516-108TW
2
Have your say

Questions are being asked about public safety and the number of Spalding-based fire engines after three men lost their lives in a house blaze.

The fire in Tower Lane on May 1 saw Polish national Marian Mariusz Laczynski (38) perish along with two house mates, believed to be East Europeans, whose are yet to be identified.

Spalding fire tragedy: “The whole scenario could have ended differently.”

FBU secretary

Lincolnshire County Council heard on Friday that the outcome could have been different had a second fire engine arrived as quickly as the first.

County Fire Brigade Union (FBU) secretary Dan Taylor said the first crew arrived within nine minutes but was obliged to wait a further 15 minutes until a second crew arrived at 12.30am – and only then could firefighters enter the house.

Mr Taylor said at that stage “one person was located and brought out showing signs of life”.

That man could not be revived and was one of the three who died.

Mr Taylor told a full meeting of Lincolnshire County Council that “the whole scenario could have ended differently”.

He was in the council chamber to present a petition, signed by 5,000 people, to save Lincoln South Fire Station and to speak against any further council-imposed cuts in Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue.

South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes has pledged to take up the issue of fire safety in Spalding following Mr Taylor’s remarks.

The MP says firefighters will have done their best within the rules and responsibility for deciding the level of cover will lie “much higher up the chain”.

Mr Hayes said: “Clearly this needs to be looked at in serious detail because we need to know what happened, when it happened and why it happened.

“Given that this (Mr Taylor’s comments) has now been said it requires very serious, urgent investigation into what has occurred.

“I am really determined that people in my constituency should be as safe as possible.”

At the time of the fire, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue said it sent fire engines from six stations – plus a hydraulic platform – but did not reveal how many came from each fire station.

Mick Green, deputy chief fire officer at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, told the Spalding Guardian: “We have 38 fire stations located across the county which are distributed to provide the best possible service to the communities of Lincolnshire.

“Spalding fire station has two fire engines, one crewed permanently by wholetime firefighters, whilst the other is crewed by retained personnel who volunteer to serve their local community.

“The number of fire engines mobilised on receipt of a call for help depends on the type of incident, but we always mobilise the nearest available engine.

“If, on arrival, the fire officer in charge requires more engines he will ensure they are mobilised.

“Although Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue has nine permanently crewed fire engines it relies on local volunteers to crew the remaining 39 engines.

“Anyone interested in becoming a retained firefighter at Spalding can find further details at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/lfr”