Station Closure Row After OAP Death

A fresh row over the closure of London fire stations has flared following the death of a pensioner in a house fire.

The Fire Brigades Union said the 83-year-old man lived close to Woolwich fire station, one of 10 which closed in the capital at the start of the year.

Paul Embery, the union's regional secretary, claimed there was a delay in fire crews arriving at the scene because they came from other stations.

He said: "Firefighters have always said these cuts were reckless and would cost lives, but we take no satisfaction in being proved correct within seven weeks of the closures, and even at this late stage we would urged Mayor Boris Johnson to reopen the stations for the benefit of communities who desperately need them."

A London fire brigade spokesman said: "It appears that there was no smoke alarm in the flat and so it is likely that the fire was smouldering for some time before the brigade were alerted.

"Eglinton Hill is situated on the border of the areas covered by Plumstead and East Greenwich fire stations.

"At the time of the fire, mobilising systems were unavailable at Plumstead and crews from East Greenwich and Eltham fire stations were sent."

Both fire engines from Plumstead were also ordered to the scene. As a result, a total of 21 firefighters and officers attended, said the brigade.

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