Fire service declares major incident as crews face spate of heatwave calls

Jon Lacey

Jon Lacey, chief fire officer for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service - Credit: Suffolk County Council

Firefighters around Waveney were called to blazes around the county and beyond on the hottest day on record.

The callouts come as Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service declared its first major incident in years after being called to dozens of incidents, many of which were fires in the open.

With temperatures soaring on Tuesday, the night offered little relief for crews with a number of emergency calls coming in.

A crew from Bungay were called over to Hamilton Road in Lowestoft at 1.08am, with closer crews called to a barn fire in Henstead.

Eight crews tackled the blaze, on Toad Row, from 11.55pm until 1.55am, with crews from Leiston, Wrentham, Southwold, North Lowestoft and two each from Beccles and Lowestoft South attending.

A team from Lowestoft South had also been called to Wittering, near Peterborough, at 11.02pm.

At 1.40am, eight crews were called to a field fire containing standing crop and stubble, with teams from Leiston, Wrentham, Halesworth, Bungay, Beccles, North Lowestoft, Stradbroke and Lowestoft South mobilised.

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The call out lasted for more than an hour until 2.53am and, during that time, two crews from Lowestoft South were also called to a building fire on Pinewood Avenue at 2.20am.

Earlier in the day, 11 crews, including ones from Woodbridge and Princes Street, Ipswich, had been called to Coast Road, in Corton, at 2.55pm, remaining at the scene until 7pm.

Crews were also called to provide assistance to colleagues in neighbouring counties throughout the day.

Jon Lacey, chief fire officer for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: "We have seen an unprecedented number of fires as a result of the hot weather in Suffolk, which has caused grassland to burn quickly.

“Our forward planning has allowed us to respond efficiently and effectively to these incidents and I would like to thank all Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service colleagues for working tirelessly to make sure that we can continue to protect our county’s communities, as well as the employers of our on-call firefighters who have greatly helped our efforts by releasing their staff to help us."