Business Sprinkler Alliance


Care home, Crewe

Firefighters left the scene of a retirement complex which was destroyed by fire, five days after it broke out on 8th August 2019.

One hundred and twenty-three residents were saved from the Beechmere residential apartments in Crewe when the fire took hold, however, their homes and belongings were lost in the huge fire. Wedding rings, old family photos and even the ashes of a late husband were among the treasured possessions that went up in smoke in the inferno in Crewe.

The first crews on the scene found the fire in the roof. It was well alight and rapidly spreading. The company which runs the home, had a “stay put” policy in the event of a fire. But Beechmere was timber framed and as the flames breached the roof and threatened to take over the top floor, the incident commander swiftly ordered a full evacuation. That decision by the senior firefighter, has been credited with saving countless lives.

Within two hours of that first call, a fifth of the building was alight and 60 firefighters were battling to contain flames as the roof collapsed and police closed roads around the complex.

All residents got out of the building safely and were taken by bus to The Lifestyle Centre, a nearby leisure centre. The blaze continued to rage and the mammoth task of finding emergency accommodation for 150 elderly people began.

Townsfolk opened up their homes and offered spare beds, others managed to stay with relatives. Several were put up in hotels. Some, were found temporary accommodation at other sheltered housing complexes.

Since the fire, Crewe and Nantwich Labour MP Laura Smith has called for fire sprinklers to be installed in buildings such as Beechmere. Currently, regulations in England mean only buildings built since 2007 and which are taller than 30m (98ft) are required to have fire sprinklers fitted.

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