Concerns raised after delay in fire response in St Andrews

Concerns have been raised about the local availability of fire crew in St Andrews following a blaze which destroyed two homes.
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A reader contacted us to say she had been visiting St Andrews Botanics last Friday, October 13 when about 4pm she saw a plume of smoke coming from the house opposite the entrance to the Gardens on Canongate.

She said people on scene called 999 but when she left to go home around 25 minutes later there was no sign of a fire engine despite the fact that St Andrews Fire Station is about 500 yards away from the location.

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Julia Young of St Andrews Pottery said: “I later read that four fire appliances eventually arrived, one from Dundee, but none from St Andrews. When I left, the fire was raging and, as I learned next day, had also engulfed the house behind it in Drumcarrow Road.

SFRS were unable to crew the St Andrews retained fire engine on the daySFRS were unable to crew the St Andrews retained fire engine on the day
SFRS were unable to crew the St Andrews retained fire engine on the day

“If only a fire engine from St Andrews fire station had been able to attend at the outset of the fire, two homes might have been saved. So sad.”

Area Commander Kenny Barbour is the Local Senior Officer for Clackmannanshire, Fife, and Stirling. He said: “We will always attend every emergency and will always mobilise the nearest available appliance to an incident using our standard mobilisation practices.“On Friday, 13 October at 3.57pm, we were alerted to reports of a fire affecting a domestic property in Canongate, St Andrews.

“Operations Control immediately mobilised one appliance from Cupar, which arrived on scene at 4.20pm. An appliance from Tayport arrived on scene at 4.29pm.

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“One appliance from Methil and two appliances from Blackness Road, including a high reach appliance, were also requested by the on-scene Incident Commander to support the tactical plan and bring the incident to a resolution.

“There were no reported casualties involved and our crews worked tirelessly to bring this incident to a safe conclusion. We left the scene at 10.23pm.”

St Andrews Community Fire Station is crewed by On Call Firefighters who respond via a pager system. Due to staffing availability at the time of this incident, the crew was not able to be mobilised from St Andrews Community Fire Station.

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