Investigation called for at Telephone Exchange

Telephone Exchange, Marsh Street, Bristol

Crews from Temple and Bedminster were mobilised to an alarm call at this premise and on arriving where met by the key holder who lead them to one of the underground cable tunnels where the alarm had actuated.

On opening the doors to the tunnel, a build up of smoke could be seen, so the Officer in Charge notified Control to call in back-up appliances.  A pump from Speedwell and the CARP (Combined Ariel Rescue Pump) from Patchway were called in and two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the tunnel with a Thermal Imaging Camera to investigate.  After a thorough search however the firefighters couldn’t locate a fire.

Investigations were then started into how the smoke could of built up in the tunnel and it transpired that leading to the tunnel was an underground duct.  Venting for this duct was located in an external courtyard and it appears discarded cigarettes had fallen thorough the venting and had caught debris alight.

On discovering the seat of the fire, crews needed to lift the concrete venting blocks to get to the duct, after which they were able to access the small smouldering fire.  It was then a case of pouring a few buckets of water on the fire to put it out.

Crews also used a positive pressure ventilation fan to disperse smoke logging in the tunnel.