Fire crews are asking residents to always consider emergency vehicles when parking following a recent incident in Littlehampton, which once again highlighted the issue.
Firefighters were called to a property on Linden Road on 27 December; however crews struggled to reach the address due to inconsiderate parking on many of the roads in the area. The first crew on scene was forced to initially make their way to the property on foot, while additional crews worked to find a way through for the fire engines.
Thankfully, three working smoke alarms in the property alerted the occupiers to the fire and the family were able to escape the house, before firefighters arrived and extinguished the fire in the ground floor lounge.
Group Manager Adrian Carter, who attended the scene, said: “This is a notorious area for poor parking and our crews dread receiving a call to these streets because they know how difficult access will be. We urge all drivers, not just in this area but all residential roads where street parking is allowed, to think about where they park and whether a large emergency vehicle could get through. We’re not exaggerating when we say this could be the difference between life and death. We commend the family for having working smoke alarms in the property which undoubtedly limited the severity of the incident, and full praise to our crews who did a fantastic job despite the access issues.”
The mother of the family praised the firefighters’ efforts but urged everyone to buy smoke alarms: “I can’t thank the firefighters enough for their quick actions, especially given the parking issues around our home. After what’s happened to us, I want to urge everyone to have working smoke alarms because without a doubt the alarms saved mine and my children’s lives that evening. I’ve been overwhelmed by the support of my family and the wider community since the fire; so I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped us get back on our feet through donations, gifts and messages of support. I only wish I could thank each of you in person.”
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is at the heart of West Sussex County Council's Communities and Public Protection Directorate, working to support communities to become safer, stronger and more resilient through a combination of prevention, protection and response activities.