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James Round

Holiday Inn, Walsall

A photo of the Holiday Inn, Walsall on fire, with their sign in the foreground.

A review of how a fire spread through a West Midlands hotel is being carried out by West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS).

Firefighters arrived at the Holiday Inn near Walsall within 4 minutes of being mobilised. They immediately started to tackle what was already a significant fire, which soon consumed much of the building.

Aerial photo by Walsall Fire Station, other photographs by John Kennett.

999 calls started to be received shortly before 4pm on Friday 2 August 2019, to the site near Junction 10 of the M6 motorway.

WMFS were supported at the scene throughout the weekend by colleagues from several other agencies and the hotel management.

Our fire investigators are satisfied that the fire started accidentally, in the hotel sauna area.

Gary Taylor, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, said: “Our Fire Control received a 999 call from the Holiday Inn at 3.54pm to a report of an electrical fire in the sauna. Two fire engines were mobilised within 42 seconds, as part of our pre-planned initial response to the site. The first crews arrived in under four minutes.

“Two teams of firefighters wearing breathing apparatus immediately entered the building to fight the fire. However, the fire had already entered the roof space. Shortly afterwards it spread to other parts of the building.

“Fortunately, the premises were successfully evacuated and so our crews tackled the fire from outside. The roof had completely collapsed and we had real concerns about the stability of the remaining structure.”

At its height there were around 50 WMFS personnel at the incident. Over the weekend a total of 19 fire engines, six Brigade Response Vehicles, three aerial platforms and more than 100 personnel were there.

ACFO Taylor added: “The premises were not fitted with fire sprinklers but, previously, our fire safety officers had recommended they be retro-fitted in line with our Fire Authority’s position.

“Our fire investigators believe that the fire started accidentally, in the sauna room. However, we will be carrying out further investigations to try to pinpoint the precise cause. We will also be looking in detail into factors that might have contributed to the spread and scale of the fire.

“This incident is a stark reminder to us all about the devastating impact a fire can have. It underlines the importance of businesses having up-to-date fire safety procedures, and of their staff, guests and visitors familiarising themselves with escape routes as an absolute priority.”

Birmingham Pride 2019

Fire service staff in the Birmingham Pride parade holding a banner that reads West Midlands Fire Service wishes you a safe pride.

This weekend (25-26 May) sees Birmingham Pride Festival return to the West Midlands.

The two-day LGBT Festival is the biggest of its kind in the UK and one of the bigger community events of the year. And we’ll be there to support the region’s amazing diversity!

West Midlands Fire Service float during the 2018 Birmingham Pride parade
Firefighters and staff from across our organisation will join the celebrations along with members of our very own LGBT support network, FireOUT, and police and ambulance service colleagues – be sure to give us all a wave during Saturday’s parade! Continue Reading

Our Accounts

Documents with figures, and an iPad with graphs and charts

As part of our commitment to transparency, our accounts are available to view on our website.

Today we are issuing a formal notice to our communities that from Monday 3rd June 2019 anyone on the electoral register is able to inspect our accounts for the financial year 2018-2019. The period of exercise of public rights commences at 10.00am on 3rd June 2019 and will conclude at 5 pm on 12th July 2019.

Our (currently unaudited as at 23rd May 2019) Statement of Accounts 2018-2019 can be viewed in our Documents section which also includes many other publications.

Formal notice of the right to inspect the financial year 2018-2019 accounts is given below.

Documents with figures, and an iPad with graphs and charts

WEST MIDLANDS FIRE AND RESCUE AUTHORITY AUDIT OF ACCOUNTS YEAR ENDED 31st MARCH 2019

NOTICE OF PUBLIC RIGHTS

The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014
The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015

  1. The Authority’s accounts are subject to external audit by Grant Thornton UK LLP of 11th Floor, Colmore Plaza, 20 Colmore Circus, Birmingham, West Midlands, B4 6AT. Members of the public and local government electors have certain rights in the audit process:
    Notice is hereby given that from 3rd June 2019 to 12th July 2019 (excluding Saturdays and Sundays) between 10.00am and 5.00pm any person may inspect the accounting records of the Authority for the financial year to 31st March 2019 and certain related documents (comprising books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers and receipts) at the address given below. They may also make copies of the accounts and documents.
  2. From 10.00 am on 3rd June 2019 to 5pm on 12th July 2019 at the request of a local government elector, the local auditor must give the elector, or any representative of the elector, an opportunity to question the auditor about the accounting records of the Authority.
  3. From 10.00am on 3rd June 2019 until the conclusion of the audit process a local government elector for the area of the Authority or his/her representative may object to the Authority’s accounts asking that the auditor issue a report in the public interest or apply for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. Written notice of the proposed objection and the grounds on which it will be made must be sent to the auditor at the address given above and also copied to the Authority at the address given above.
  4. The Statement of Accounts for West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority is available to view on the internet during the period of display. The web address is: www.wmfs.net

 

Dated 22nd May 2019

Mike Griffiths
Treasurer
West Midlands Fire Service
99 Vauxhall Road
Birmingham
B7 4HW

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