3:50pm Monday 19th November 2012
By Kimberly Middleton & Peter Truman
Fire crews were blocked from a residential street by inconsiderate parkers for the second time in two days.
Firefighters were delayed rescueing a woman from her burning flat in Park Crescent Terrace, Brighton, because of badly parked cars last week.
But when crews returned to issue fire safety advice they were once again hampered by inconsiderate motorists.
On Wednesday, November 14 a woman in her 50s was carried unconscious from her flat on Park Crescent Terrace after a fire spread through her bedroom.
She is still fighting for her life in hospital.
Crews should have taken just two minutes to get to the scene, but attempts to squeeze through cars parked on both sides of the road thwarted the rescue, forcing crews to reverse out of the one-way street and use a different route, adding an extra six minutes on to the response time and damaging a fire engine and two cars.
On Friday evening (November 17) crews from Preston Circus returned to the street to do a safety check on a home opposite the flat which caught fire.
Shouting to neighbours
But cars parked alongside both sides of the street again stopped crews from getting through.
Watch manager Dave Statham said: “Once again we could not get down it. We had the lights and sirens going and everything. It was really awkward.
“The husband of the victim was in the flat and started shouting at the neighbours to move their cars.
“His wife is fighting for her life in hospital and he has to scream at cars to move.
“In the end the police came and got people to move the cars. It is unbelievable.
“Just 48 hours since there was a major fire and again we could not get down there.
“The house was directly opposite where the fire was. It was absolutely staggering.”
Photographs taken of the street on Sunday morning (November 18) showed the situation had not changed.
As well as cars parked in bays on the right hand of the street cars were also parked on a single yellow line on the left hand side of the road, straddling the road and the pavement.
After Wednesday’s blaze watch manager Richard Chamberlain said: “Cars weren’t illegally parked but inconsiderately parked on both sides of the road with room only for a small car.
“Lives are at risk and every minute counts.”
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