Bristol University fire investigation concluded


The investigation into the cause of the fire at the University of Bristol on Saturday 6 January has found it started accidentally.

At the height of the incident crews from seven fire engines, two turntable ladders and support vehicles worked to tackle the fire on the top floor of the five storey Fry Building.

The fire caused extensive damage to the fifth floor and roof but firefighters were able to prevent it from spreading elsewhere in the building.

An investigation into the cause of the fire was launched on Saturday evening by Avon Fire & Rescue Service. The investigation has now been completed and investigators believe the fire started accidentally in the roof of the building.

Group Manager Steve Quinton from Avon Fire & Rescue Service said: “We know that refurbishment works were being carried out in the roof on Saturday afternoon which we believe has led to the accidental fire starting.

“In any fire investigation we consider and then rule out all possible causes to arrive at the most likely cause. The extent of the damage at Fry Building means we will never be able to identify exactly where the fire started but we are satisfied it started accidentally as a result of the works taking place that day.

“Although the damage was extensive I’d like to recognise our Fire Control staff and firefighters whose actions certainly prevented more damage. We had a crew at the scene six minutes after we received the first 999 who immediately put in place plans to tackle the fire and prevent it from spreading to other parts of the building.

“As many people will have seen from photographs and videos taken on the night firefighters were faced with a well-developed fire involving the roof of the building. Alongside our standard pumping appliances our efforts were greatly assisted by the being able to call on two of the Service’s turntable ladders, allowing us to deliver water from above.

“I would also like to recognise the assistance we received on the night from the police and ambulance services, Bristol City Council, the University of Bristol and the many members of the public who sent us messages of support.

Avon Fire & Rescue Service is now accepting applications from anyone interested in becoming a wholetime firefighter.  The first stage of the application process is open now and must be completed by 09.00hrs on Monday 15 January.

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