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Public consultation results on cuts to fire service to be revealed

The results of a public consultation into possible cuts at East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service have been announced. Amongst the options, to save more than seven million pounds over five years, is reducing the number of fire engines in Brighton or losing full-time staff.

The findings will be discussed at a Fire Authority meeting next week.

We would like to thank those organisations and individuals who responded to our consultation. This is a difficult time and it is important that the Fire Authority is equipped with as much evidence as possible to have an informed debate before making a decision."

– Fire Authority Chairman Phil Howson


Lessons to be learnt from massive emergency exercise

Emergency services in Brighton were put to the test today. An explosion was staged at a disused army barracks to see how police, fire and ambulance crews would respond.

Around 200 volunteers took part with other incidents staged across Sussex.

Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to Insp Tony Lumb from Sussex Police and Mark Rist from East Sussex fire and Rescue.

Fire at theatre believed to have been started accidentally

The Phoenix Theatre in Lewes was destroyed by a fire last night

The fire that destroyed the Phoenix Theatre & Studios in Lewes is believed to have been started accidentally by a wood burning stove on one of the upper floors, according to East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service.

Up to seventy firefighters tackled the blaze last night. Crews were called to the scene shortly after 6pm. They managed to stop the fire spreading to other neighbouring buildings. The fire was out by 9.30pm, but crews remained at the site until 6am this morning damping down the embers.

Adequate insurance is a must

The importance of having adequate insurance is being highlighted by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.

They say they have attended a number of properties recently without building or contents insurance.

Neal Robinson, Head of Community Risk Management at ESFRS said, "If there is a fire in your home, you risk losing everything. Even if the fire if contained to one area, smoke and water damage can have a huge impact.

"To know that you do not have insurance to help rebuild your lives makes it even tougher to face."

It is thought that in times of cutbacks, people may be tempted to not insure their property.


Fire crews scale back operation at care home

Smoke from the rooftop fire at Marlborough House care home in St Leonards

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service have scaled down their operation at the scene of a fire at a care home in St Leonards-on-Sea.

At the height of the blaze at Marlborough House in Warrior Square more than fifty firefighters were involved in the operation, along with eleven fire engines, eight breathing apparatus, three aerial ladder platforms and other equipment.

The fire broke through to the roof - with smoke seen for miles

The building was evacuated at about 8.30am with around fifty people including 32 residents led to safety. Two had to be rescued form the building. Nearby properties were also evacuated. A fire investigation is underway.

Many of the roads near Warrior Square were closed off because of the fire

Traffic diversions after St Leonards care home fire

A building fire means the A2102 Norman Road has been closed from A2102 London Road to Norman Road. The incident is also continuing to affect Warrior Square Southbound from Terrace Road to St Margaret's Road. A major fire started at the Marlborough House care home at around 8.30am.

The one way section of Norman Road, and part of Warrior Square are closed. The A259 along the seafront remains open, and there are no major delays in the area.

The Diversion: Traffic on London Road heading towards the seafront is being forced to turn right into Norman Road towards Undercliff, although this route is unsuitable for lorries.

Thirty-two residents evacuated from care home fire

Sussex Police have said that 32 residents along with staff were evacuated from a fire that took hold in a retirement complex in St Leonards-on-Sea near Hastings this morning.

The residents are being temporarily rehoused at a local church hall while Hastings Borough Council works with the care home to make more long term arrangements.

Up to fifty firefighters and ten fire engines remain at the scene of the blaze - Marlborough House in Warrior Square.

"Emergency services were alerted and our officers entered the building to support fire and rescue colleagues in evacuating the residents, many of them with restricted mobility.

Fortunately no one is reported injured although three people have been taken to hospital - a man as a precaution and a woman to access medication. A third person has reported feeling unwell. I appreciate that this has been quite an ordeal for those concerned and we are working with partner agencies to ensure they are supported and cared for."

"The site is cordoned off and the area between London Road and Norman Road has been closed while the building is made safe."

– Inspector Phil Hogan, Sussex Police
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