Firefighters tackle care home laundry room blaze

Four people were moved from their bedrooms to avoid smoke inhalation after a fire broke out in a York nursing home.

The laundry room fire broke out at Birchlands Nursing Care Home at midnight on Saturday, November 17.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service said: “Crews from Huntington and York have attended reports of a fire within a three storey residential property. The fire was confined to a ground floor laundry room causing 100% fire damage to the contents of the room and approx. 400 metres squared of smoke damage over two floors.

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“Crews used four breathing apparatus, two hose reels, thermal imaging camera, positive pressure ventilation and a door enforcer. The cause of the fire is under investigation.”

Chief operations officer (COO), Lucy Holl, told CHP that the incident had demonstrated the benefits of the home’s fire emergency response training and rigorous equipment maintenance and inspection routines.

Lucy praised the prompt responses of her staff and leadership team in the short time before the arrival of the fire service.

“The laundry room was secured and the fire isolated, the four residents whose rooms would have been affected by smoke were moved and the well-rehearsed horizontal evacuation procedures were followed in a way that minimised disruption to the other 50 residents,” she said.

The COO said the home had incorporated lessons from the Grenfell Tower tragedy into staff training and equipment procedures and routines.

”At the time when the fire was discovered the laundry room was closed and no equipment was in use,” Lucy said.

”We have conducted our own review of  matters and will be working with the Fire Brigade as they conduct their expert investigation of the specific cause  of the fire and ensure any recommendations are implemented and passed on to our sister homes as part of our continuous learning  culture.”

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