04 Mar 2013
Builders have turned firefighters to tackle a blaze at a Cornish mental health facility.
The Cornishman newspaper says it is believed the fire began when workers, most probably using a blow torch, were carrying out maintenance on the building’s roof.
Emergency services were alerted to the incident just after 1pm last Wednesday (February 20) by builders at the Cornwall Partnership Trust-run Bolitho House facility on Laregan Hill, Penzance.
Workmen put out the flames by the time fire crews arrived.
Concerns that the blaze may have spread elsewhere were quashed when crews, using tools to cut away at the joists and a thermal imaging camera, found that the workmen had tackled the fire adequately.
The incident stresses the seriousness of taking sufficient safety precautions when undertaking hot work, and the need for fire-fighting equipment.
Non-domestic buildings in England and Wales must have a ‘suitable and sufficient’ fire risk assessment undertaken under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Transgressors can face a maximum two years in prison or an unlimited fine.
The premises were evacuated quickly. Clients and staff returned inside once the fire service said the building was safe.
Copyright Press Association 2013