HC Deb 03 November 1954 vol 532 cc358-9
8. Mr. Swingler

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General why there was a 20-minute delay between the outbreak of fire at Mount Pleasant and the call to the London Fire Brigade on 5th October.

Mr. Gammans

Twenty minutes elapsed between the first discovery of the fire and the alarm being given to the fire station at Clerkenwell, but there was no delay in tackling the fire by the Post Office trained fire fighting squad. My noble Friend is still not entirely satisfied that there was no undue delay in summoning the fire brigade when the fire appeared to be beyond the control of the fire fighting squad, and investigations are still proceeding on this point.

Mr. Swingler

Will the hon. Gentleman, whom I thank for that reply, ensure that instructions are immediately issued that when a serious fire like this occurs, which could cause considerable damage, the fire brigade is called at once?

Mr. Gammans

I do not think there is anything wrong about the instructions, which were there already, but what we are not quite sure about is whether they were carried out.

Mr. Collins

Can the Minister say that any delay was not the fault of the fire brigade, and that it got there as soon as possible after receiving the call?

Mr. Gammans

Yes, the fire brigade was on the spot within a minute or two.