Praise for firefighters who tackled Marton Hotel and Country Club fire

Praise has been given to firefighters for their role in battling the fire at Marton Hotel and Country Club.

Friday, 28th June 2019, 18:46 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd July 2019, 17:29 pm
Flames engulf Marton Hotel and Country Club. Photo credit: Erin Brockbank

The hotel, closed since 2017, is in the process of being demolished in the aftermath of the fire which gutted the building.

Councillors asked for an update on what happened during and following the incident at the Cleveland Fire Authority Audit and Governance meeting on Friday.

Ray Khaliq, Director of Technical Services, gave comments commending the work of officers and explaining the decisions made regarding the building, adding they took every caution due to the duty of care for residents.

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He said: “In terms of our actual response, it was speedy and in line with the fact we are the fastest responding fire service in the country.

“There was no saving the actual building, because the fire was so developed and it developed so quickly that when we got there we weren’t going to facilitate that.

“What we were more concerned about was in close proximity to the hotel are people’s homes and I’m pleased to say not one home was damaged and we were able to save all those homes, some of them were very, very close.

“We successfully dealt with what was a major incident.”

He also praised firefighters for keeping the rest of the community safe while the incident was ongoing, adding crews also dealt with a bungalow fire and numerous road traffic accidents.

Coun Teresa Higgins, who represents Middlesbrough Council, also raised awareness in regards to the clean up due to the asbestos in the hotel building, which led to nearby residents being evacuated from their homes.

Mr Khaliq said: “My understanding was they were gradually brought back into their homes.

“We worked very closely with Public Health England and the Environment Agency and also Middlesbrough Council.

“Risk assessments were undertaken in regards to the asbestos. There are certain precautions which had to be taken, the risk with asbestos is very low where the asbestos is embedded within a construction material, and that’s what we had here.

“The likelihood of asbestos being released out of that cement is extremely low, having said that both Public Health England and Middlesbrough Council have a duty of care to the residents and we didn’t want to take any chance.

“Because of the intensity of the fire there was debris that was carried and deposited in gardens, there was no certainty that it contained asbestos however sampling needed to be done, that takes a number of days.

“Also as a precautionary measure the council was going to arrange to have those homes, the gardens, decontaminated.

“Even though the chances of it being asbestos are extremely slim, under the circumstances, nobody wanted to take any chances.

“With social media as it is, people can get alarmed very easily, under the circumstances the actions that were taken were justified in that what was important was to not get people alarmed.”

Coun Higgins said: “Pass on from everybody here our congratulations to all the firefighters in how they protect us in our communities, we’re so proud.”