The High Sheriff of South Glamorgan, Anne Campbell will present Blue Watch, Cardiff Central Fire Station with a commendation for their actions when responding to an incident that took place in July, 2010. 

On the evening of July 20, 2010, fire crews from Central and Roath Fire Station responded to a report of fire in a three-storey purpose built block of flats located just off Newport Road, Cardiff.   

Sources told FIRE that the crews from Blue Watch, Cardiff Central Fire Station responded quickly to the incident, however, on arrival the flat was already 'well alight'. Breathing Apparatus crews, were immediately committed and were confronted with a fire spreading from the flat into the second floor landing which was heavily smoke-logged.  

Residents from the adjoining flats made their way out from the building, but the fire crews were informed by neighbours that they had failed to get a response from a female occupier of the flat directly opposite the fire, and that the lady within the flat was profoundly deaf. To gain access to the flat and the occupier, crews had to force entry into the flat - they then lead the occupier to safety. 

The fire was contained within the flat of origin but it destroyed the contents of the lounge and had spread to the entrance hallway and had entered the roof space via a loft hatch.  The incident necessitated the evacuation of all twelve flats.   

A fire investigation conducted by Andy Petersen, Group Manager, Community Safety, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) concluded that the fire was set deliberately by the occupier, who had recently been served with an ASBO eviction notice by the housing association that owned the flats.Andy's findings, including a statement from Firefighter Phil Allen, Blue Watch, Cardiff Central Fire Station were passed on to the police who prepared a file for Crown Prosecution Service. 

The occupier was found guilty of 'arson and being reckless as to whether lives would be endangered.' He has been sentenced to five years in prison.  The prosecution for the case commended the detail and content of the Fire Investigation report and statements from the fire service and stated that both were key in highlighting the seriousness of the incident. 

The commendation was presented to Blue Watch on February 4, Cardiff Central Fire Station at 1415.

Andy Petersen, Group Manager, Community Safety, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS), said "This award has been received as a result of the excellent response by the whole team.  It is particularly pleasing that the work of the crews have been recognised in this way, and highlights the continued professionalism and dedication the crews demonstrate in often difficult situations". 


Date posted: 09.02.11