Investigators probe cause of fourth Hastings care home fire

An investigation into the cause of a fourth fire at a derelict Hastings care home is due to get underway today (Friday, May 31), the fire service has confirmed.

Friday, 31st May 2019, 12:51 pm
There have been four fires at the Mount Denys care home in the space of a month

The Mount Denys care home in The Ridge went up in flames for the fourth time in a month on Thursday (May 30).

Firefighters battled the blaze for more than 12 hours.

Investigators are expected to visit the site to find the cause of the blaze today.

There have been four fires at the Mount Denys care home in the space of a month

A fire service spokesman said Sussex Police may be asked to assist in the investigation.

Crews were called to the Mount Denys care home in The Ridge, at 4.47am.

Two fire engines were initially sent to the scene but, upon arrival, there was smoke billowing from the building and as the fire was discovered to be coming from the first floor and at the rear of the property, six more fire engines were called.

The Ridge was closed in both directions between Ivyhouse Lane and Elphinstone Road for a number of hours while the fire service dealt with the blaze. On Friday (May 31), the road is reopen but there are temportary traffic lights in place outside the former care home.

Mount Denys fire. Picture: Jim Breeds

A spokesman for the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said crews using four breathing apparatus, two main jets and an aerial ladder platform managed to extinguish the fire by approximately 9.30am.

The incident left a number of properties in the TN35 4PD area of Hastings with either no water or low pressure as a result of the fire service using fire hydrants.

Nearby residents were also advised to keep windows and doors closed as smoke was seen billowing from the building.

Yesterday morning’s blaze was the fourth at the building after previous fires on April 30, May 8 and May 18.

The building, although declared ‘surplus to requirements’, is still owned by East Sussex County Council.

A spokesman for the council said: “We are extremely concerned at the number of incidents at the former Mount Denys Care Home and Pinehill Day Centre buildings and have put in place extensive security measures. We are liaising with the fire and police services and Hastings Borough Council to minimise the risk of further damage.

“The buildings, which have been empty since 2014, have been boarded up and internal security cameras have been in place for some time. Since early 2018 there have also been regular security patrols of the site.

“In response to the recent incidents, the site has been fenced off and we have increased security, introducing 24 hour patrols and installing motion sensor cameras.

“We are currently looking at options for the future of the site, taking into account the priorities of the community, local council and county council.”

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