Scarborough fire chief slams motorists who blocked engine from attending house fire with man trapped inside
Firefighters in Scarborough have received "verbal abuse" after urging drivers to move their cars from outside the station, which blocked a fire engine from attending a house fire with a man trapped inside.
Graeme Casper, Station Manager at Scarborough District Fire Station, has asked motorists not to park on double yellow lines opposite the station on North Marine Road after illegally parked vehicles prevented a large Aerial Ladder Platform from leaving the station.
Mr Casper said: "If this isn’t sorted soon, my real fear is that it will eventually create a life-or-death situation. This is clearly unacceptable. Drivers need to realise that their selfish actions are hindering an emergency service which could, ultimately, end up costing lives."
A man was rescued by firefighters and taken to hospital after escaping a house fire on Victoria Park Avenue on October 16.
Fire crews extinguished the blaze using a hose reel, which had badly damaged the bedroom where the fire began.
The man, in his 20s, was led to safety from the heavily smoke-logged house by fire crews who were using breathing apparatus.
Mr Casper added: "Instead of being able to use the platform to make the rescue via an upper floor window, our firefighters instead had to reach the person by going into the burning property.
"This greatly increased the risk to the person who needed rescuing, as well as to our firefighters whose job was made more difficult directly because of the illegal and irresponsible parking opposite the station."
He said the problem is a daily occurrence. The fire station’s staff have tried to reason with offending motorists and asked them to move on, only to be met with verbal abuse.
Mr Casper added: "Scarborough Council has increased parking patrols in the area to help address the problem in the short term, but we fully acknowledge that they cannot be on-hand around the clock.
"We are seeking a more permanent solution through North Yorkshire County Council. Our hope is that yellow hatched markings will be placed on the road to ensure all of our emergency vehicles, including the Aerial Ladder Platform, can be operated from the station without any hindrance from other vehicles parked nearby."