Cause of County Hall fire deemed as accidental by Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue service
After over 20-hours of investigating into the fire at County Hall, the fire service has determined the cause.
The fire, which ripped through a first floor corridor and offices at the Nottinghamshire County Council headquarters last Thursday, has been ruled as accidental after investigation.
The fire destroyed the office of Neil Clarke, Nottinghamshire County Council's cabinet member for transport and environment.
Watch Manager, Tim Marston, of Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service carried out the fire investigation alongside station manager, Jim Dykes. Tim said: “The fire has been attributed to an accidental electrical cause, leading to the overheating of a lighting fixture and adjacent wiring within the ceiling void on the first floor of the building.
“The fact that the affected floor had well-fitting automatic fire doors, that functioned correctly, is a testimony as to why the most severe fire and radiated heat damage was contained to one area, leaving adjacent stairwells clear to aid evacuation.
“I urge all building owners, where fire doors are fitted, to ensure they check the effectiveness of any automatic or self-closing devices, that doors fit correctly within the doorframe and escape routes are always kept clear.
“Our fire protection team will continue to support Nottinghamshire County Council with their recovery process as they look to bring the building back to full use.
The fire broke out on last Thursday, July 28 at 11.45am. At the height of the incident twelve fire engines, plus two Aerial Ladder Platform’s were in attendance.
Fire fighter were able to control the blaze and the incident scaled down around three hours later, with some crews remaining on site to inspect the building. There have been no reported injuries.
Derek Higton, Nottinghamshire County Council’s service director for place and communities, said: “We would like to thank Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service for not only its swift response on the day, but also for how it has carried out the subsequent investigation into the fire since it broke out at County Hall on Thursday.
“It is good to know that our fire precaution arrangements and infrastructure worked effectively, with our automatic fire doors functioning correctly to contain the damage at County Hall and to ensure the safety of all those who were in the building at the time.
“Since the fire was extinguished, we have worked well to ensure that any disruption to our services has been minimal and I can confirm that our services are now fully operational.
“It goes without saying that we’d like to thank the public and our staff, who I must stress followed our fire safety regulations correctly and without panic, for their continued patience in this challenging period for us.
“Finally, the response to the emergency by all those who were in the building on Thursday shows the value of having our regular and consistent fire drills.”
Incident commander and group manager Matt Reavill of Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “I would like to praise the actions of our firefighters who were on scene in just under four minutes and immediately began tackling the blaze. We would like to thank the public and staff at Nottinghamshire County Council for their patience as we dealt with the incident.
“Thank you to our partners in Leicestershire and Derbyshire fire and rescue services for their support, along with Nottinghamshire Police and East Midlands Ambulance Service.”