Firefighters warning over barbecues after Richmond Golf Club fire

Firefighters issued a stark warning over disposable barbecues after a fire at Richmond Golf Club on Wednesday (May 20).

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Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters were forced to rush to the scene at the golf club house at Richmond Park after a fire was reported on the living grass roof of the building.

Eye-witnesses at the scene reported fire hoses stretching hundreds of metres to reach the site of the fire as crews battled the blaze.

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Fire crews from several South West London stations attended the blaze. Image: Kingston RamblersFire crews from several South West London stations attended the blaze. Image: Kingston Ramblers

A statement from London Fire Brigade (LFB) provided further details of the fire after it had been dealt with:

“The Brigade was called at 1646 and the fire was under control by 1743. Fire crews from Wandsworth, New Malden, Fulham and Kingston fire stations attended the scene.

“The Brigade’s Fire Investigators believe the fire was accidental and caused by a smouldering disposal barbecue bag being carried by the wind and on to grass on top of a roof.

An LFB spokesperson added: “During this warm weather that we have been having, the ground becomes extremely dry and grass can burn quickly.

“Disposable barbecues can cause fires when smouldering ash and embers are carried by the wind onto areas of dry grass.

“Disposable barbecues that have been discarded and abandoned can still end up causing a fire as they will continue to retain heat after use – they need to be put right out and cooled before being thrown away.

“Always make sure barbecues are not left unattended and check barbecues are completely out when you have finished and never leave it to smoulder as they stay hot for a long time.”

LFB provided some basic barbecue fire safety tips also, reproduced below.

  • Never use a BBQ – including disposables – indoors, on flat roofs or on your balcony.
  • Be careful where you position your BBQ – we suggest on level ground, well away from anything flammable like sheds, fences, trees or tents.
  • Avoid having barbecues in parks and public spaces.
  • Don’t use petrol, paraffin or any flammable liquids on your BBQ – firelighters are a much safer option.
  • Carefully supervise children – little ones can all too easily trip and fall, while older children might hurt themselves trying to help.
  • Be pet-aware – dogs (and some cats!) love to snaffle sausages and can cause accidents getting under your feet.

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