Blaze outside fire station treated as suspicious

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Fire engines from Bicester, Kidlington and a specialist platform appliance from Oxford tackled two cars on fire adjacent to Bicester Fire Station.

Crews were called at 11.42pm on Saturday by a member of the public and, on arrival, found two cars which were well alight. The intense radiated heat and smoke starting to affect the adjacent building.

The crews were quick to extinguish the fire and prevent any further damage to the building, which is used as a training area for the firefighters.

Like the majority of fire stations across the county, Bicester is unmanned and crewed by on call firefighters, so crews based at the station were not present at the time the fire started.

There was minor damage to the building and the fire station will remain operational as none of the working areas have been affected.

The cause of the fire is currently being treated as suspicious and the fire service is working with Thames Valley Police to investigate the scene.

Group Manager Richard Smith attended the incident and said: “The quick response from our dedicated and professional crews enabled us to swiftly extinguish the car fire and therefore minimize any damage to the adjacent fire station.

“This also shows the benefits of having robust business continuity plans in place. Although they were not required on this occasion, we had plans which detail how we would maintain fire cover in the Bicester area if the station was unavailable.

“Having such plans in place assists you as a manager when considering what actions to take and ensure that the business can be continued with little disruption. Advice and information on business continuity planning can be found on the Oxfordshire County Council website as part of the ‘Oxfordshire be ready’ campaign.”