Firefighters highlight smoke alarms after van fire

By Contributor in Emergency Services

TAVISTOCK Firefighters are highlighting the use of smoke alarms in vehicles after they were called to a van on fire in Whitchurch last week.

Crews were called to Church Hill last Tuesday (June 6) where a VW Transporter had caught fire. On arrival of the crews, the vehicle was well alight. They used breathing apparatus, compressed air foam and a high pressure hose reel to extinguish the blaze.

A spokesperson for the fire service said: ‘Considerable damage was caused to the vehicle but fortunately no one was injured. Something that made us think was that the owner had previously slept in this vehicle — imagine if this had started at night.

‘There are lots of small camper type vans out there, which people use to stop on Dartmoor for a night or go surfing for the weekend — especially at this time of year and vehicle fires can spread fast.

‘Do you have a smoke alarm in yours? For the price of £5 it may well save your vehicle but would almost certainly save your life. Better still, fit a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm and have a fire extinguisher to hand.’

In this case, the fire crews believe the most probable cause for this incident would have been an electrical fault.

For more information about vehicle fire safety, visit

• Pictured is the burnt out van.

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