Firefighters strike part way through large woodchip fire in Malden Rushett

Firefighters strike while tackling large woodchip fire

Firefighters strike while tackling large woodchip fire

First published in News
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This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Firefighters went on strike for an hour last night part way through tackling a large woodchip and log fire behind a pub.

Contingency crews took over between 11pm and midnight behind the Star in Kingston Road, Malden Rushett.

A London Fire Brigade spokeswoman said four fire engines were called to the fire at 6.50pm and firefighters were still there this morning.

She said a pile of woodchips, measuring 25 metres by 15 metres, was 30 per cent alight and 10 per cent of the wooded area and logs were alight.

A witness to the fire said: "There was a break in London and Surrey dealing with it because of industrial action.

"On-site security noticed how good the first crew was and how not so good the middle crew was."

Leatherhead firefighter James Oatley, who helped to fight the fire, said the blaze initially created a lot of smoke.

Mr Oatley said: "There was no life risk and it was in the middle of nowhere. We still chose to leave before industrial action happened."

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) is staging daily strikes, between noon and 2pm as well as 11pm and midnight, in an ongoing row over pensions.

The string of strikes started on Saturday August 9 and tomorrow is the last day of the industrial action.

Comments (7)

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3:02pm Fri 15 Aug 14

helen59 says...

I really do not think people are going to sympathise with the firemen any more. The fact that they are striking because of their pension - a lot of people are in a similar position but we are not striking!
I really do not think people are going to sympathise with the firemen any more. The fact that they are striking because of their pension - a lot of people are in a similar position but we are not striking! helen59
  • Score: -52

6:31pm Fri 15 Aug 14

Daphne Du Bois says...

a lot of people may think they are in a similar position, but, a lot of people who have to work longer before they receive their pension, won't have had to do physical, stressful, dangerous work which all take their toll on the body. I wonder if these people would feel safe being carried down a ladder from a flaming building by someone approaching 70 years old? I doubt it.
a lot of people may think they are in a similar position, but, a lot of people who have to work longer before they receive their pension, won't have had to do physical, stressful, dangerous work which all take their toll on the body. I wonder if these people would feel safe being carried down a ladder from a flaming building by someone approaching 70 years old? I doubt it. Daphne Du Bois
  • Score: 45

7:55pm Fri 15 Aug 14

Hove Ex-Pat says...

helen59 wrote:
I really do not think people are going to sympathise with the firemen any more. The fact that they are striking because of their pension - a lot of people are in a similar position but we are not striking!
I am 65 & I have just retired. I was NOT a fireman. Just the thought of a 64yr old fireman having to recue any of my family, including me, fills me with horror. They, & the Ambulance & Police as well, are a special case & must be allowed to get their full pensions at a more reasonable age. Good luck to them.
[quote][p][bold]helen59[/bold] wrote: I really do not think people are going to sympathise with the firemen any more. The fact that they are striking because of their pension - a lot of people are in a similar position but we are not striking![/p][/quote]I am 65 & I have just retired. I was NOT a fireman. Just the thought of a 64yr old fireman having to recue any of my family, including me, fills me with horror. They, & the Ambulance & Police as well, are a special case & must be allowed to get their full pensions at a more reasonable age. Good luck to them. Hove Ex-Pat
  • Score: 41

10:51am Sat 16 Aug 14

DB says...

I can totally understand why the firefighters are striking. When they signed up for the job, the downside was the physically stressful and dangerous work, but the upside was being able to retire very early compared to other careers. To be told part way through that career that the upside is to be taken away is more than a legitimate reason to strike in my opinion.

I can also see the other side of the argument from people in other careers who have also had their pensions taken away or reduced. We are living in a world where successive governments have raided pension pots to such an extent that reasonable retirement is going to be impossible for a great many people, so I can understand their anger seeing one group's rights protected.

It is a shame that most people are unable to campaign against the government in the way firefighters are.

I am not sure what the pension deal is for new recruits into the fire service, but clearly this does need to be reviewed. Perhaps ending active service at 55 and then spending 10 years in administration, training roles etc might be an option, but this should not be done retrospectively to firefighters already in the job.
I can totally understand why the firefighters are striking. When they signed up for the job, the downside was the physically stressful and dangerous work, but the upside was being able to retire very early compared to other careers. To be told part way through that career that the upside is to be taken away is more than a legitimate reason to strike in my opinion. I can also see the other side of the argument from people in other careers who have also had their pensions taken away or reduced. We are living in a world where successive governments have raided pension pots to such an extent that reasonable retirement is going to be impossible for a great many people, so I can understand their anger seeing one group's rights protected. It is a shame that most people are unable to campaign against the government in the way firefighters are. I am not sure what the pension deal is for new recruits into the fire service, but clearly this does need to be reviewed. Perhaps ending active service at 55 and then spending 10 years in administration, training roles etc might be an option, but this should not be done retrospectively to firefighters already in the job. DB
  • Score: 11

11:25am Sat 16 Aug 14

Tommo-B says...

Here we are, another journalistic piece designed to be anti fire service in respect to the lawful industrial action they are forced to take because of this diabolical thieving government who sees it fit to renege on what were supposed to be legally guaranteed pensions.
Lets not forget that firefighters pay substantially higher rates of contributions into their schemes to allow them to retire earlier because of the dangerous work this occupation involves. Politicians on the other hand do not carry out dangerous life risking work yet they see it fit to award themselves 11% pay rises while we all enjoy 1% or nothing, and we see them protect their pensions for far less time in post and with increases in their payouts.. I think this paper needs to get a grip on who the problem people are here.
Here we are, another journalistic piece designed to be anti fire service in respect to the lawful industrial action they are forced to take because of this diabolical thieving government who sees it fit to renege on what were supposed to be legally guaranteed pensions. Lets not forget that firefighters pay substantially higher rates of contributions into their schemes to allow them to retire earlier because of the dangerous work this occupation involves. Politicians on the other hand do not carry out dangerous life risking work yet they see it fit to award themselves 11% pay rises while we all enjoy 1% or nothing, and we see them protect their pensions for far less time in post and with increases in their payouts.. I think this paper needs to get a grip on who the problem people are here. Tommo-B
  • Score: 10

2:11pm Sat 16 Aug 14

Expatasb says...

All they need is for some doctor to take industrial action next time they have a medical emergency. There has to be a more intelligent way of dealing with this. Beaurocracy is collapsing under its own weight.
All they need is for some doctor to take industrial action next time they have a medical emergency. There has to be a more intelligent way of dealing with this. Beaurocracy is collapsing under its own weight. Expatasb
  • Score: -2

12:38pm Wed 20 Aug 14

carshaltonmum says...

Firefighters pay 14% of their monthly wage into their salary. They do not earn as much as the Police force either.
There are far less people wanting to join the FB now than years ago. I certainly would not want a 65 + year old coming to rescue me!!!
I know someone in the FB and they have been working for the FB for 30 years and about to retire in their mid 50's, they have worked unsociable hours whilst trying to raise a family. They can now retire and start to enjoy their lives with a healthy pension but one that they have had to pay heavily into for many years.
I support all the strikes, they signed up to retire at an early age and now the pen pushers have decided that they need to work for more years, totally out of order.
Firefighters pay 14% of their monthly wage into their salary. They do not earn as much as the Police force either. There are far less people wanting to join the FB now than years ago. I certainly would not want a 65 + year old coming to rescue me!!! I know someone in the FB and they have been working for the FB for 30 years and about to retire in their mid 50's, they have worked unsociable hours whilst trying to raise a family. They can now retire and start to enjoy their lives with a healthy pension but one that they have had to pay heavily into for many years. I support all the strikes, they signed up to retire at an early age and now the pen pushers have decided that they need to work for more years, totally out of order. carshaltonmum
  • Score: 3

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