A Fire At Meadow Lane: Notts County v Yeovil Town
Like many Clubs Notts County has a Sports Bar located within one of its four Stands. Situated within this bar is a separate kitchen, with two commercial deep fat fryers. Just over an hour before kick-off, on Saturday 17th October 2015, the chef noticed smoke coming from behind one of the frying units and the surfaces of both frying baskets were soon fully on fire. The door supervisors within the bar contacted Match Control by radio and the two duty fire marshalls were soon on scene and began to tackle the fire. There were 175 people within the bar area and door supervisors evacuated with no problems. Further evacuation from the stand took place and this had all been completed prior to the arrival of the Fire and Rescue Service.
The incident was a relatively small fire contained to the fryers within the kitchen and it was reassuring to see that the match day systems of work were generally seen to have worked extremely well. The club undertook a full review and the subsequent report highlights a number of lessons to be learned. For example, the fire had started within a void inside the frying unit and the club are now seeking to undertake intrusive maintenance to these and other ‘high’ risk pieces of cooking equipment. Normal radio traffic impacted on messages from the scene of the incident and Stewards should be informed that emergency only messages should be transmitted whilst any incident is in progress.
All staff were calm and worked together with the Safety Officer to ensure the best possible outcome. Experienced Fire Officers undertaking the role of Fire Marshalls was also an obvious benefit in both fighting the fire and liaising with the Fire and Rescue Service.
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