|Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service saves lives in the most extreme fires, thanks to its team of brave firefighters
Shropshire firefighters were back on national TV when two more of their fire and rescue actions were re-told on the popular BBC Real Rescues programme.
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is pictured on the montage of images at the start of the high action TV show which features dramatic film footage and interviews of events attended by emergency services.
Ex Shropshire mayor Roger Smith told how his firefighters fought a huge battle at a Shropshire farm to contain a fire involving “elephant” grass used as a bio fuel in power stations. The severe heat from the wall of flames melted the apron worn by householder Margaret Gibbons who feared her home would be engulfed in the blaze.
Mrs Gibbons talked of the bravery of firefighters who put out the huge fire. “I walked out in disbelief. I couldn’t believe my eyes. All I could see was a wall of flames. I could feel my face scorched and my pinny crackling with the sheer scale of the heat,” said Margaret, who was treated by paramedics at the scene for shock. The fire was travelling along the hedge very close to my house. It would have taken the house if it was not for the firefighters. It looked like a vision of hell. I feel lucky to be alive and it’s all thanks to our lovely firefighters.”
A total of 60 firefighters eventually put out the fire at Woodseaves in April using water from a pool half a mile away. Flames were up to 40ft high and 150ft across as 1,000 large bales of elephant grass were ablaze creating a temperature of 1,000 degrees. The UVPC window frames were starting to melt at Margaret’s home, said Roger, who was mayor of Market Drayton at the time and in charge of the firefighters at the scene.
“The flames were spreading and we had to think about the properties next to the field. Trees and hedges were on fire and we had to stop the fire from spreading.”
Roger said that in 45 years of firefighting he had never experienced a fire so intense. Two appliances from Market Drayton and Hodnet initially attended with another four pumps called to the scene. Fortunately the wind diverted the flames away from the homes.
The elephant grass fire drama was shown on BBC Real Rescues on June 16. The Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service was also featured on the same programme broadcast a few days earlier (June 14) talking about how they rescued a terrier trapped down a rabbit hole near Shrewsbury using shovels and listening equipment in a three hour drama.