Fire service lists most serious Storm Doris incidents in Cambridgeshire

The electrical substation in Thorpe Wood. PHOTO: Phil Elmer
The electrical substation in Thorpe Wood. PHOTO: Phil Elmer

Storm Doris blew into Cambridgeshire yesterday morning (Thursday) bringing with her a spike in the number of calls to Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service’s combined fire control.

In a 12-hour period from 9am until 9pm, the service received 42 calls involving fallen trees as well as one involving a leaning tree.

Other calls involved ‘dangerous structures’ such as a metal marquee which had blown onto a car, trampolines blown onto roofs and into trees, roof felt coming off a building and a tree that had collapsed onto a substation in Peterborough.

Of the more serious incidents, strong winds caused the top half of an end wall on a three-storey block of flats in Old Station Road in Chatteris to collapse, damaging two cars below.

Fire crews from Chatteris and Ely evacuated the premises and set up a cordon and remained on the scene until the arrival of a structural engineer.

In a separate incident, a tree and street light came down onto a property in Cambridge, blocking the owner inside. A crew from Cambridge helped remove the tree and street light from the doorway entrance and the occupant was unharmed.

A crew from Dogsthorpe was also called to Thorney Toll Service Station to remove some cladding which was hanging over the station forecourt, next to the road.

In the majority of calls involving fallen trees, operators passed the calls onto other organisations such as councils and power networks.

Group commander Teri Seaber said: “Our combined fire control was flat out all day but that is what we are here for and at the end of the day we left feeling proud of what we had achieved.

“Our advice would be, if what people are calling for is causing a person to be injured, or at risk of being injured, such as a chimney toppling over a road, it does need to be made safe but it doesn’t necessarily have to be us that makes it safe.

“If people’s lives are at risk, that’s when they need to call us.”

Cambridgeshire police tweeted: “Thank you to everyone for your support following #stormdoris. Our control room took 750 999 calls – most ever taken in a single day.”