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Fire Appliance
Incident - Fire at Riverside Leisure Centre - Update

Date: 21/02/2017
Time: 16:17
Location: Cowick Street, Exeter
Area: Central
County: Devon

Ten pumping appliances are attending a fire at the Riverside Leisure Centre, Cowick Street, Exeter.

The fire was reported in the first floor sauna, and the health suite was confirmed as well alight.

Appliances are attending from Danes Castle, Middlemoor, Topsham, Exmouth, Crediton, Ottery St Mary, Cullompton, Teignmouth, Bovey Tracey and the aerial appliances from Torquay and Exeter.

There is a lot of smoke from the building. Twenty people were removed from the swimming pool and the leisure centre has been evacuated.

Six breathing apparatus, two main jets and a hose reel jet in use.


Fire located in the health suite of the fitness centre, efforts being made to bring the fire under control and stop any further spread. 6 BA in use, one person suffering from smoke inhalation treated on scene.

Other emergency services are on the scene and traffic is likely to be affected in the area.


Five additional appliances in attendance from Newton Abbot (two), Chard, Honiton, and a second appliance from Teignmouth, making a total of 15 pumping appliances.


Fire in sauna spread to roof. One person suffering from smoke inhalation and one person suffered burns but had left scene.

6BA, 2 ALPs, 3 jets and 2 hose reels in use.


Roads in the immediate vicinity – Exe Bridges and Alphington Road were closed to allow emergency vehicle access and to carry out their work.

It is understood around 20 people were evacuated from the swimming pool, which became engulfed in smoke.  Residents of a neighbouring property, as a precautionary measure, were asked to leave.  In total around 40 to 50 people have been evacuated.  All people within the leisure centre have now been accounted for.

Marks and Spencers is acting as a reception centre.  Some neighbourhood police officers have taken people home and a few others were at Marks and Spencers being looked after.  The South West Ambulance HART team (Hazardous Area Response Team), are providing assistance at the reception centre.

There are two reported injuries – one with minor smoke inhalation and one with a minor burn.  Both casualties were treated at the scene.

The public are asked to please avoid the Alphington Road and Exe Bridges area, as this is adding to the congestion.

19:18 hrs  

Building of two floors. 60m x 30m used as leisure centre. Fire in first floor health suite and air conditioning ducting into roof space. 8BA, 3HRJ, 2main jets, 1 ALP, 2 TIC in use.  

20:39 hrs 

Building of 2 floors, approx 60m x 30m, 2 operational sectors in use, steady progress being made, 2 BA, 3 HRJ and 3 main jets, one TIC, one ALP in use, 

21.00hrs update.

There are still 17 pumping appliances and supporting specialist appliances on scene with a total of between 70 to 80 firefighters at any one time.

Crews are making steady progress and are at present using 8 breathing apparatus , 3 hosereel jets and 2 main jets attempting to extinguish fire which has gone into the air conditioning ducts and roofspace of this 2 floor 60m x 30m property used as a leisure.  DSFRS are also working alongside other agencies such as Environment agency to ensure any environmental impact to local area because of this fire is minimized. Further updates will follow........

22:34 hrs

Good progress being made, checking roof void externally with mechanical cutting equipment for signs of fire spread. checking internally for hotspots.

2359hrs update...

Fire now fully under control and mostly extinguished. Crews scaling down to 4 pumping appliances and an aerial ladder platform. Thermal image camera and other specialist equipment being used to search out any remaining hotspots within building.

00:14 hrs

Using TIC camera and misting system to confirm no remaining pockets of fire, incident being reduced to 3 pumps shortly.

01:23 hrs

Scaling down to 2 pumps, watching brief throughout night 

02:39 hrs  

Maintaining watching brief on roof, first and second floor, TIC, HR and main jet in use

04:18 hrs

2 pumping appliances crews maintaining watching brief on roof, first and second floor. hydrants, jets, HR and TIC in use. 

07:41 hrs 

One pumping appliance maintening watching brief on roof of first and second floor, one HR and one main jet , TIC in use.

0645 hrs

Excellent progress has been made and this incident is now scaling down to 1 pump  with crews maintaining a watching brief on the roof. Crews are using hose reel jets and a thermal image camera. 

07:41 hrs 

One pumping appliance maintaining watching brief on roof of first and second floor, one hose reel and one main jet, TIC in use.

10:28 hrs 

Building used as leisure centre measuring 60m by 30m, consisting of 2 floors, fire started in health suite sauna area, fire confined to health suite area, approximately 30% damaged by heat, 80% damaged by smoke, some water damage, 10 BA 4 HRJ, 4 main jets, 2 ALP, PPV, TIC, misting system, 2 persons injured and treated by paramedics, incident sectorised, crews remaining on scene checking for hotspots, accidental cause.

 A further revisit was carried out this afternoon 22.02.17 by the Danes Castle crew, hotspots have been cooled sufficiently and no further revisits will be required.


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