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Father hits out at cuts after house fire

Sudbury's protest against cuts to the fire service. ANL-151027-135720009
Sudbury's protest against cuts to the fire service. ANL-151027-135720009

A father has blasted cuts to Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) after his daughter escaped serious injury following a house fire in Great Cornard.

Brian Andrew’s daughter Kelly was treated for shock by firefighters after the blaze at the ground floor of her home in Raydon Way, Great Cornard on Tuesday, January 5.

First called at 12.01pm A crew from Sudbury was supported by crews from Halstead, putting out the fire by 1.20pm.

Sudbury’s second appliance failed to start due to a mechanical failure, later confirmed as a flat battery.

“What happens after they take the second engine out and it’s the only engine that doesn’t work?,” said Mr Andrews, 72, who also lives in Great Cornard.

“If the crews from Sudbury and Halstead hadn’t got there so quickly god knows what would have happened.

“We have got to get together as a community and hammer this home. We can’t afford to lose another fire engine if they are planning to put up so many new homes in the area.”

Suffolk County Council is proposing Sudbury’s second appliance is replaced by a rapid response vehicle.

Campaign group Sudbury and Cornard against Fire Cuts has highlighted the call up of a fire engine from Ixworth to the blaze as evidence of the need for Sudbury’s second engine.

A spokesman for SFRS said there had been no unavailability of crews, but Mr Andrews said it was a “bit strange” to find crews from Ixworth being called instead of closer stations, including Long Melford.

Mrs Andrews’ brother-in-law Dan Gurney, and Mr Andrews’ wife, even assisted the Sudbury crew with their hoses when they first arrived on scene.

Mr Gurney has criticised the decision to remove Sudbury’s second fire engine.

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