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Warning after site blaze near homes
12:42pm Thursday 26th July 2012 in News
A MESSAGE was sent to fire chiefs as a disaster was avoided thanks to the quick response of firefighters.
Three crews were sent to a blaze on a new housing estate off Weald Road, in Brentwood.
A temporary site office went up in flames on Sunday, opposite a row of new, terraced homes.
Half a dozen families were evacuated by the Brentwood crew, which arrived on the scene within minutes of the emergency call.
Claude Valentini, who is in his thirties, lives opposite the land where the temporary office was ablaze.
He said: “All of a sudden we noticed thick black smoke.
“There was a loud bang when the windows popped out and everyone who lives nearby came out to see what was happening.”
Mr Valentini said the Brentwood crew, who are stationed less than a mile away, were quickly on the scene and advising residents to keep well back.
He said: “There was some sort of fuel in the office which spilt out and was heading down towards the flats.
“Thankfully, the firefighters quickly got it under control.
"It is very high density here now and there are a few developments nearby.
"The population is increasing and yet the suggestion might be that the Brentwood fire crew is reduced.
"We don't appreciate firemen until we need them and they were great here.
"It was realtively minor but it could have been a lot worse and there is always a bigger picture, it made us think what might have been.”
Mr Valentini said the crew from Ingatestone arrived ten minutes after the Brentwood crew and the incident could easily have been out of control if the Ingatestone team was the first to arrive.
The drama came days after hundreds of firefighters in Essex held a march in Chelmsford to protest at planned changes to crews and staffing.
Nick Mayes, a member of green watch in Brentwood, claimed fire service bosses are planning to push through plans to reduce 48 staff to 24, along with six retained firefighters, but the figures are strongly disputed by the fire service.
Mr Mayes previously told the Weekly News that a future worst case scenario might be that a Brentwood crew could not attend all incidents if the changes are brought in.
The latest incident happened just after 2.30pm and was dealt with by 3.30pm.