Fire engine completely destroyed by blaze in Tavistock

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By PGStrange | Sunday, February 03, 2013, 23:41

A £200,000 FIRE ENGINE has been completely destroyed in a blaze at a Tavistock workshop. But, due to quick thinking by the fire crews at the scene, no firefighters were injured...

The incident occured while firefighters were tackling a blaze at a farm in Collaton Lane in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Crews from Tavistock, Plympton, Princetown, Camels Head and Crownhill arrived at the farm buildings shortly after 1am.

Upon arrival they found a fire in a large workshop. Western Power isolated the electrics, while members of the public were moved from adjacent buildings.

While crews battled the blaze using hose reel jets, a water bowser and thermal imaging equipment, the severity of the fire caused a diesel tank inside the farm building to rupture. Burning diesel fuel escaped from the tank and ran down the lane.

Crews quickly moved two appliances, but a third one - thought to be around ten years old, and one of two fire engines based at Tavistock - was engulfed in flames. It was abandoned as unsafe.

As the night wore on, crews gradually got the workshop fire under control. By 8.20am crews were reduced. Work continued for much of the day, and at 2.30pm the incident was reduced to one fire engine, maintaining a watch on acetylene cylinders and ensuring that a safety cordon was maintained.

"Freak occurence"

Area commander Steve Widnell has described the incident as a "freak occurence", and praised the fire crews for their quick actions. He said it highlighted the dangers fire fighters faced every day. He also said that the loss of the fire engine was "very sad for the crew" as they took "a lot of pride" in keeping their engines in "tip-top condition".

It's understood that investigations into both fires have begun. This morning (Monday 4 February), crews were still at the scene, monitoring the acetylene cylinders.

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