Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 5°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Colchester: 40 soldiers rehoused after blaze in accommodation block at Merville Barracks

17:14 18 March 2014

Damage to an accommodation block at Merville Barracks, Colchester.

Damage to an accommodation block at Merville Barracks, Colchester.

Crown Copyright 2014: This image may be used for current news purposes only.

More than 40 soldiers have had to be rehoused at Colchester Garrison after a blaze in the early hours of this morning.

shares

Firefighters were called to an accommodation block at Merville Barracks in Roman Road just after 2.30am and found the third floor of the building was heavily smoke-logged.

Crews from Colchester, Mersea and Tiptree and the aerial ladder platform were scrambled to the scene and found the Army had already evacuated dozens of people.

Station officer Pete Donovan, from Colchester fire station, said: “When crews arrived approximately 50 people had already been evacuated to safety by the Army.

“Several neighbouring accommodation blocks had also been evacuated as a precaution.

“The fire was on the third floor of the block and had started in a bathroom and it had spread into the corridor of the accommodation wing.

“The crews efforts contained the fire to the top floor and prevented the fire from spreading throughout the building.”

The flames were brought under control through firefighters using two hose reels and one main jet by 5.40am.

The second floor was ventilated of smoke while the aerial ladder platform and a thermal image camera were used to check if the fire had spread into the loft area.

A Colchester Garrison spokesman said around 40 soldiers’ living quarters had been affected but that they were already in alternative accommodation within the camp.

He added: “Evacuation procedures had been correctly followed and all personnel were safely out of the building and neighbouring blocks before fire crews arrived. No-one was injured.

“The building suffered extensive water and smoke damage and alternative accommodation will be provided for the soldiers while the building is repaired.

“The cause of the fire is believed to be an electrical fault and an investigation is being carried out by Defence Fire Risk Management Organisation and Essex Country Fire and Rescue Service.”

shares

0 comments

Police are searching for 15-year-old Niamh McGovern, who has gone missing from Braintree (pictured)

Police say they are concerned for the welfare of a 15-year-old girl who has gone missing from Braintree.

Visitors got to take part in the Big Garden Bird Watch at the Flatford RSPB over the weekend.
Amy and Julia Hill.

Our photographers travel across Suffolk and north Essex, recording the events of the week.

Police close road (file picture)

Saddlemakers Lane in Melton is currently closed while BT repair fallen telephone lines.

Maj Bruce Ekman, 36, of Colchester-based 16 Air Assault Brigade, who suffered serious injuries when his vehicle hit an IED in Afghanistan in 2011, is taking part in the Invictus Games process for a second time. Photo: Cpl James McAllister

A soldier whose left foot was shattered by an explosive in Afghanistan is in the running for a place on the UK team at the next Invictus Games.

Mouth cancer survivor Sam Fordham with husband Neil and five-year-old daughter Molly

A woman who beat mouth cancer has said it is vital people who think they have symptoms of any form of the disease gets them checked out early.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train

There are delays of up to 20 minutes for rail users travelling between Ipswich and Cambridge due to a signalling fault.

Pupils at Farlingaye High, Woodbridge, prepare their presentations as part of the Most Able Student Day at the school.

Gifted pupils gathered for the latest in a series of events aimed at helping them realise their early academic promise.

Most read

Fred Olsen Travel Sale

cover

Click here to view
the Fred Olsen
Travel Sale

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24