Emergency! Firefighters at Felbrigg

Six fire engines will dash to Felbrigg Hall on Monday night as crews and staff practice tackling a blaze at the historic country house near Cromer.The routine exercise will familiarise fire fighters with the National Trust property, and see them working alongside hall staff to rescue artefacts.

Six fire engines will dash to Felbrigg Hall on Monday night as crews and staff practice tackling a blaze at the historic country house near Cromer.

The routine exercise will familiarise fire fighters with the National Trust property, and see them working alongside hall staff to rescue artefacts.

Property manager Ray Sandham said they hoped a fire never happened at the hall, but the Trust's Uppark House in West Sussex was severely damaged by a blaze 10 years ago and has since been restored, though many possessions were lost.

Firemen at Felbrigg will tackle a make-believe fire which breaks out in the scullery.


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Mr Sandham said crews used emergency wallets drawn up to show where the water mains and escape routes were as well as the objects that needed saving first.

'Staff would not go into a room until the fire service gave the go ahead, but there is a list of half a dozen objects in each room - such as paintings, furniture and vases - which are the most significant and not necessarily the most valuable,' he explained. 'For instance we might grab one chair, so the others can be recreated from it.'

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In the event of a fire, volunteers would not be asked to salvage objects from rooms, but would have a valuable role in helping with sorting and storage. The Trust also had an emergency trailer in the region, which could bring specialist conservation equipment to any fire scene.

The exercise, which will take place between 7pm and 9.30pm, will not see key items being grabbed, but ones of a similar size and weight.

Fire service group manager Richard Dromey said he also hoped Felbrigg never had to tackle a fire, but it was important to practice and develop any lessons learned from it.

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