Firefighters tackle East Ayrshire blaze

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SFRS crews arrived to find a well-developed fire at a church in New Cumnock.

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Firefighters from across East Ayrshire tackled a blaze at a church in New Cumnock on Wednesday night (26 March).

Crews from New Cumnock and Cumnock community fire stations were mobilised around 5:20pm when the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) received reports of smoke coming from the roof of the two-storey Lanehead Terrace building.

They were quickly supported by further crews from Cumnock and Dalmellington as first responders requested additional resources to tackle the fire.

Group Manager Iain McMeekin, the incident commander, said: “Initial crews arrived to find the entrances were heavily smoke logged and four firefighters in breathing apparatus discovered a well-developed fire inside the church, which they began to tackle using two main jets.

“Work to bring the blaze under control was conducted from both inside and outside the building with five lines of hose used to knock down the main body of the fire.

“Around 25 firefighters were involved at the height of this incident and their skill and professionalism ensured this fire was successfully extinguished.”

Police Scotland officers closed the road to ensure the safety of the public and specialist officers from the SFRS Fire Investigation Unit in Glasgow attended the scene to establish the circumstances surrounding the fire.

Firefighters are clear that fire can strike anywhere and said the incident should remind everyone of the need to act to protect themselves and those around them.

Group Manager McMeekin added: “New Cumnock, Cumnock and Dalmellington are very close-knit communities where people look out for one another and this will help prevent fire tragedies.

“We have been calling on the public to join Scotland’s fight against fire by helping us reach and support people who could be at most risk of experiencing a fire within the home.

“Our free home fire safety visits ensure residents get potentially life-saving advice, which helps them take the simple steps we know prevent fires from starting and give people the time they need to escape unhurt if one does happen.

“One very simple thing everyone should do is make sure their home – and those of any family, friends or neighbours who they keep an eye on – are protected by working smoke alarms.

“The early warning provided by these devices is key to preventing injuries and deaths through fire and also helps limit damage to property.

“This incident should remind us all that fire can strike anywhere. We want to hear from anyone who thinks they or someone they know could benefit from a little help to stay safe and comfortable in their home.”

To arrange a free home fire safety visit, residents can call SFRS on the freephone number 0800 0731 999, or text "check" to 61611. Further information is available on the SFRS website: www.firescotland.gov.uk.

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