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Fire chief praises locals and businesses following major Kendal blaze

Cumbria's Chief Fire Officer Jim Onions Credit: Cumbria County Council

People and businesses in Kendal have been praised for their patience following a major fire on the town’s northern outskirts over the weekend.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer Jim Onions said the way local people co-operated with emergency services following the fire at a joinery that spread rapidly to the Furmanite plant was a crucial factor in allowing fire crews to get the blaze under control.

North West Fire Control received an emergency call reporting a fire at industrial premises on Mintsfeet Road off the A6 at 8.13pm on Saturday. A crew was deployed immediately and left Kendal fire station within four minutes.

Within nine minutes there were two fire crews with two engines at the scene and six fire engines and a high-volume pump drawing water from the River Kent on the scene within the hour.

The incident was ultimately attended by 14 fire engines and around 70 firefighters.

Mr Onions confirmed that the incident has now been scaled down, although one crew is still in attendance to carry out ongoing damping work on the final building where a small pockets of fire occasionally ignite from the debris.

"This was a challenging incident which required a multi-agency response and drew on Cumbria’s fire and rescue resources from around the county. Ultimately our performance is measured in how we responded and I am delighted that everything ran so efficiently, speedily and smoothly. Thanks to this response, we saved lives and also helped save some of the neighbouring businesses, who could have been caught up in the incident to a far greater degree.

“I would like to thank the people of Kendal in co-operating fully during this incident, coping with the inevitable pressures on traffic that closing a major arterial route into the town caused, and letting us get on with the job in hand.”

– Cumbria's Chief Fire Officer, Jim Onions


Borders MP successful in foreign aid fight

Legislation forcing Britain to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on foreign aid has been passed in the House of Lords and will now become law.

Michael Moore's Private Member's Bill passed. Credit: ITV Border

The International Development Bill was put forward as a Private Member's Bill by the Borders MP Michael Moore.

It will make the UK the first G7 country to meet the UN's 45-year-old aid spending target.

Council offers support to those affected by fire

The fire affected four businesses Credit: ITV Border

South Lakeland District Council says it's offering support to businesses affected by a fire in Kendal:

"Officers at South Lakeland District Council are in contact with businesses affected by this weekend’s serious fire at Mintsfeet Trading Estate, off Shap Road, Kendal.

"Members of the council’s Economic Development team are offering advice and assistance to affected business owners with issues including sourcing temporary accommodation, and officers from the council’s building control services have been at the scene.

"The council is also offering practical help with the major clean-up operation that will be required at the site.

"Any businesses affected by the fire that would like to discuss how the council could possibly support them at this time can contact Economic Development Manager Joanne Golton (direct line 01539 793276) or Economic Development Officer Jacki Robinson (direct line 01539 793275)."

– South Lakeland District Council


Death abroad case could be re-opened

On the sixth anniversary of a Dumfries woman's death in Crete, lawyers have indicated the case might be re-opened.

Jean Hanlon died on the 9th of March 2009.

Her family always thought there were mysterious circumstances surrounding her death and they've welcomed the decision by Greek authorities to potentially look again at her case.

Credit: ITV Border News

Crews continue to extinguish pockets of fire

Firefighters are continuing to extinguish a fire at Mintsfeet industrial estate in Kendal.

Cumbria fire and rescue say that the fire is under control, but are dealing with pockets of fire at one of the units.

The operation is expected to be scaled down by early evening.

Credit: ITV Border

"The emergency services were frightened about gas canisters going off and landing on roofs.

"First of all the asked us to move to the front of the house and then decided we were better off out if the way."

– David Bradshaw, eyewitness
Credit: ITV Border
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