Berkshire fire crews called out four times during Christmas Eve strike

Published: 25 Dec 2013 01:300 comments

BERKSHIRE firefighters attended four incidents during the Christmas Eve leg of their programme of strikes over a pensions row with the Government.

The Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) today thanked the public for once again for taking extra care and for not dialling 999 unnecessarily during last night's strike from 7pm until midnight..

Contingency arrangements meant that 11 fire appliances were on standby but the worst incident of the night was seven minute before the stoppage was due to begin when flames swept through the third floor and roof of a disused building at Woodlands Avenue in Woodley, near Reading.

At the height of the blaze five fire appliances, an aerial unit and a water bowser were at the scene. Crews remained there overnight to prevent a flare-up and ensure the building was safe.

At 7.53pm in Hangar Road, Sheffield Bottom, Theale, near Reading, a driver whose car was trapped in flood water was rescued; firefighters put out a chimney blaze in Pinkneys Road, Maidenhead, at 8.26pm; a reported car fire on the M4 between junction 10 and 11 proved to be a false alarm and no action was required; and at 11.23pm they had to free a child stuck in a locked bedroom in Canterbury Road in the Whitley area of Reading.

Andy Mancey, Acting Assistant Chief Fire Officer, said: “I would like to thank everyone for following our safety advice and for not making unnecessary 999 calls during the strike tonight."

The next strike action is from 6.30pm on New Year’s Eve until 30 minutes past midnight on New Year's Day and on Friday, January 3, from from 6.30-8.30am.

Mr Mancey added: “Please also take extra care on the roads when you are driving, particularly if they are wet or icy. The recent heavy rain has caused some roads to have become flooded, so please do not attempt to drive through them and instead take an alternative route.”

For more fire safety advice and updates on industrial action, visit

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