Blaze at farm building in Dumfries and Galloway

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Firefighters treated two people for smoke inhalation and rescued two dogs from the building.


Firefighters in Dumfries and Galloway prevented the total loss of a farm building and rescued two pet dogs from the structure after it was hit by a blaze on Thursday night (26 February).

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) crews from Annan were sent to the incident in Kirtlebridge in response to a 999 call made shortly before 8:30pm.

The firefighters prevented the flames from spreading to an adjacent house and stable block and provided oxygen therapy to a man and a girl who appeared to be suffering from the effects of breathing in smoke.

After being passed to the care of the ambulance service the casualties were taken to hospital for precautionary check-ups.

Crew Manager Joe Ronald, the incident commander, said: “When we arrived a mini-digger and a car were already well-alight inside a large farm building.

“I deployed four firefighters in breathing apparatus and they successfully tackled the flames using two hosereel jets.

“It was moments from reaching the point where it would have become a protracted incident, threatening to completely destroy the building and spread to the adjacent house and stables.

“There was a lot of kindling in the building – thankfully the team’s prompt and effective actions meant we were able to prevent the fire spreading.”

The SFRS officer said the fire quickly produced thick, toxic smoke that would have overcome the casualties had they not left the building.

He explained: “The two casualties were outside the building but they did show signs of having sustained smoke inhalation, so we provided oxygen and requested an ambulance as a precautionary measure.

“This shows it’s vital that when a fire happens everyone gets straight out and calls the fire service out.

“Smoke and heat will very quickly overwhelm a person. There’s a real chance that entering or staying inside a building to try to tackle a fire or attempt a rescue will end in tragedy.”

The message from SFRS is always to get out and call 999 as this gives firefighters the best chance of reaching the scene in time to help everyone involved and bring the incident to a safe conclusion.

In this case the fast response ensured firefighters were able to rescue the family pets.

Crew Manager Ronald added: “I’m a dog owner myself and we certainly appreciate that people want to get to their pets, but the public need to understand the power of heat and smoke.

“Our firefighters in breathing apparatus were able to rescue both the collies. One of them had an incredibly fortunate escape – it was inside a wooden kennel that was actually on fire.

“It had gotten down low, away from the smoke and fire, and we were amazed when it was carried out with just a bit of soot on its coat.

“After we treated the two people involved and passed them to the ambulance crew we then gave oxygen to the dog. Amazingly it was fighting fit by the time we left the scene – it really ought to be called lucky.”