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Ilfracombe Fire Station

Tony Olsson in Chambercombe

I urge all Streetlife members to support the Journal’s campaign to keep a fully operational fire station in Ilfracombe, by adding your names to the petition at

In 1988 I worked at the brand new print works in Plympton built for Chase Web magazine printers to replace one which had been destroyed by fire a year earlier. Within three minutes of the fire starting, the factory was a raging inferno, and three workers were dead. Even a year later, many of the people I worked with were still traumatised by the experience.

It will take much longer than three minutes for part-time fire fighters to get from their places of work to the fire station, get suited and kitted up, and arrive at the fire. With Ilfracombe’s history of devastating fires, we mustn’t allow Devon and Cornwall Fire Brigade to close Ilfracombe Fire Station.

Following my personal experiences over many years, I also make the following pleas:

If the fire alarm goes off, GET OUT. Do not stand discussing if the alarm is genuine, nor go to windows to cheer the fire fighters as they arrive. And NEVER, as happened at a school at which I worked, switch off the alarms whilst you go and check if the alarm is genuine.

Tony Olsson


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