Smoke seeps across Altrincham town centre after chimney fire at Belgian Bar (From Messenger Newspapers)
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Smoke seeps across Altrincham town centre after chimney fire at Belgian Bar
11:08am Wednesday 27th February 2013 in News
THICK smoke and a large crane dominated the skyline in Altrincham town centre after a chimney caught fire at the Belgian Bar on yesterday.
The fire began at the Victorian terraced building on Greenwood Street, at around 2.20pm on busy market day.
Crews from Sale and Altrincham stations attended the incident and were joined by Stretford station manager, Ben Levy.
Mr Levy said: “They have an open fire and a chimney, which has been swept quite recently but there was still a buildup of soot and debris which had caused a small fire.
“This created a lot of smoke from the chimney and over the town centre and also some seepage of soot into the flat next door and the one above Altrincham Fish Bar.”
The crews used a hydraulic platform to access the chimney breast and thermal imaging cameras to locate the fire and extinguish it without causing damage to other properties.
Barry Cooperman, manager of the Belgian Bar, later tweeted: “Those magnificent men contained fire no one hurt and not even one bottle of beer damaged. Could not have a better fire service.”
The incident is coincidental as Altrincham station manager, Kevin Brogden, has been trying to raise awareness of the dangers of chimneys and wood-burning stoves, which are increasing in popularity.
Recently Mr Brogden teamed up with the Burgess Derek Pierce, the ‘chimney looker’ from the Altrincham Court Leet, who is charged to ‘look out’ for dangerous fires, as have his predecessors for the past 700 years.
He said: “We’ve been working closely with the Altrincham Court Leet chimney looker recently to help spread the message of chimney and open fire safety and raise awareness of the dangers and we will continue to build on this.”
Chairman of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Cllr David Acton, said: “Please follow our simple steps for maintaining your chimney – if your chimney is clean it will not catch fire because there is nothing in it to burn.
“Don't allow soot or ash to build up, inspect your chimney breast, particularly in the roof space and make sure that sparks or fumes can't escape through cracks or broken bricks.”
For further information visit manchesterfire.gov.uk/fire_safety_advice/home_fire_safety/heating_and_fire.aspx.