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SPARKHILL BLAZE: Startling footage shows huge fire that threatened residents at Pentos Drive


Sparkhill blaze - startling footage shows huge fire that threatened residents at Pentos Drive.

The fire that engulfed pallets at a factory in Sparkhill has been declared ‘accidental.’

Around 40 homes were evacuated during the incident on the evening of April 22nd. 125 fire fighters were called to the scene to try and extinguish the fire. Incredible drone footage from West Midlands Fire Service shows the dramatic scale of the blaze.

WMFS said at the time they had started with an 8 pump fire in progress in Sparkhill involving a large yard with pallets fully involved in fire. As the fire progressed, a total of 22 pumps had to be called upon to control the inferno.

They said they were overwhelmed with the support and cooperation from local residents affected, saying “we'd like to thank the crews, partners and agencies that have been involved with this incident, but especially those local residents that, when breaking their Ramadan fast in the early hours, shared their food with on site crews. Amazing community spirit and we're very grateful.”

West Midlands Fire Service have decided to start using drones during incidents to improve situational awareness, support effective decision-making and enhance the operational response currently provided. Twelve fire officers have received the necessary training to pilot the drones, which will be mobilised around the clock to a wide range of incidents, requiring more than four fire engines.

Going forward, the drones will also provide information for fire investigation, intelligence and information gathering and for debrief and training purposes. The equipment may also be used to support other multi agency situations such as aircraft crashes, road traffic collisions, rail crashes and floods and help identify hazards to people, responders, animals, property and the environment.

Steve Vincent, Strategic Enabler - Operations, Preparedness and Response, said:

“This is a really exciting project for us and forms part of our commitment to utilise digital technology and innovation to enhance the excellent service we provide to our communities.

“We recognise the far-reaching benefits that drone technology can bring to operational response. We know that the early use of drones at incidents can potentially improve the situational awareness of incident Commanders and other roles. They can also support effective decision-making and improve safety not only of our firefighters but our partner agencies and members of the public too.

“This 12-month trial will identify further opportunities to identify and mitigate risk within our communities.”

All footage and images from West Midlands Fire Service.

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