Rats blamed for coach firm inferno

Daily Echo: Rats blamed for coach firm inferno Rats blamed for coach firm inferno

RATS could have been behind a fire that ended up engulfing six vehicles.

Fire investigators have concluded that the most likely cause of the fire that gutted three coaches and three minibuses at an operations centre in Hedge End was a spark from an electrical fault.

But a fire service spokesman added that investigators believe this could have been as the result of “possible rodent interference”, meaning that mice or rats might have chewed through wires.

“It’s not unheard of – certainly rodents and animals chewing through things have caused us issues in the past,” said the spokesman. “For it to have caused this much devastation, they have been pretty unlucky.”

Firefighters were alerted to the blaze, which involved vehicles belonging to South-ampton-based coach hire company Barfoot and Sons, at around 5.45pm on Saturday at the operations centre for trucks, buses and coaches off Upper Northam Drive.

Residents described seeing flames reach 40ft high and hearing explosions as the fire spread from one vehicle to the next.

Firefighters spent four hours tacking the fire and investigators concluded it was accidental and there were no suspicious circumstances.

The six destroyed vehicles make up more than half of the company’s 11-strong fleet.

Steve Barfoot, director of the small family coach and minibus hire firm, said he was very surprised to hear that might be the cause.

“If that’s the cause I would be quite frustrated that such a small animal caused so much damage and devastation.”

He confirmed that the damage would certainly cost tens of thousands of pounds though could not estimate a figure and expected to speak to his insurance company later in the week.

Mr Barfoot reiterated that the company provides purely a private hire service and had no contracts with schools so would not be letting any schools or local authorities down.

He added that in the short term they could meet their commitments until decisions could be made about replacing the buses.

“Hopefully we’ll bounce back, I don’t see any reason why we can’t,” he said.

Comments (15)

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12:57pm Tue 1 Jan 13

nedscrumpo says...

Well, strike a light!
Well, strike a light! nedscrumpo

1:15pm Tue 1 Jan 13

Block41row0sfc says...

What a hood rat
What a hood rat Block41row0sfc

1:40pm Tue 1 Jan 13

Dave Clements says...

Wonder if these are the same type of rat that chewed the cables at The Red Lion in Totton and other various pubs
Wonder if these are the same type of rat that chewed the cables at The Red Lion in Totton and other various pubs Dave Clements

2:06pm Tue 1 Jan 13

Lockssmart says...

Let's hope the rats have the right insurance policy.
Let's hope the rats have the right insurance policy. Lockssmart

2:28pm Tue 1 Jan 13

TEBOURBA says...

Fire service say it may have been --possible rodent interference -- it has not been ratified!
Fire service say it may have been --possible rodent interference -- it has not been ratified! TEBOURBA

3:19pm Tue 1 Jan 13

chunky_lover says...

The rats started the fire? Who even writes this junk....
The rats started the fire? Who even writes this junk.... chunky_lover

4:13pm Tue 1 Jan 13

IMAGOODGUY says...

it wasnt roland and his crew by anychance lol
it wasnt roland and his crew by anychance lol IMAGOODGUY

6:28pm Tue 1 Jan 13

derek james says...

hope the old 1930's coach can be restored,
hope the old 1930's coach can be restored, derek james

7:54pm Tue 1 Jan 13

IronLady2010 says...

I know Firemen are far superior to me when it comes to knowledge of how a fire starts, but would a fire really be started by a spark when the engines aren't running.

Diesel is hard to ignite, I always assumed?

Oh well, they know what they are talking about more than me.
I know Firemen are far superior to me when it comes to knowledge of how a fire starts, but would a fire really be started by a spark when the engines aren't running. Diesel is hard to ignite, I always assumed? Oh well, they know what they are talking about more than me. IronLady2010

8:23pm Tue 1 Jan 13

richieroo says...

IronLady2010 wrote:
I know Firemen are far superior to me when it comes to knowledge of how a fire starts, but would a fire really be started by a spark when the engines aren't running.

Diesel is hard to ignite, I always assumed?

Oh well, they know what they are talking about more than me.
The fire is caused by a spark from electrical wires shorting together once the rats have gnawed the insulation off of the copper wiring that forms the wiring loom of every vehicle. Some circuits are constantly live even if the ignition is off to preserve radio settings, clocks running & alarm systems etc etc. doesn't matter if it's a petrol or diesel vehicle as the fuel isn't the source of the fire. God only knows what rodents find so tasty in eating the insulation as they don't usually chew through the copper core.
[quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: I know Firemen are far superior to me when it comes to knowledge of how a fire starts, but would a fire really be started by a spark when the engines aren't running. Diesel is hard to ignite, I always assumed? Oh well, they know what they are talking about more than me.[/p][/quote]The fire is caused by a spark from electrical wires shorting together once the rats have gnawed the insulation off of the copper wiring that forms the wiring loom of every vehicle. Some circuits are constantly live even if the ignition is off to preserve radio settings, clocks running & alarm systems etc etc. doesn't matter if it's a petrol or diesel vehicle as the fuel isn't the source of the fire. God only knows what rodents find so tasty in eating the insulation as they don't usually chew through the copper core. richieroo

8:28pm Tue 1 Jan 13

IronLady2010 says...

richieroo wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote:
I know Firemen are far superior to me when it comes to knowledge of how a fire starts, but would a fire really be started by a spark when the engines aren't running.

Diesel is hard to ignite, I always assumed?

Oh well, they know what they are talking about more than me.
The fire is caused by a spark from electrical wires shorting together once the rats have gnawed the insulation off of the copper wiring that forms the wiring loom of every vehicle. Some circuits are constantly live even if the ignition is off to preserve radio settings, clocks running & alarm systems etc etc. doesn't matter if it's a petrol or diesel vehicle as the fuel isn't the source of the fire. God only knows what rodents find so tasty in eating the insulation as they don't usually chew through the copper core.
But what is flammable to start the main fire? OK we may have a spark or three, but what is flammable?

Genuine question, I'm no expert, but always assumed something has to be flammable for a spark to start a fire.
[quote][p][bold]richieroo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: I know Firemen are far superior to me when it comes to knowledge of how a fire starts, but would a fire really be started by a spark when the engines aren't running. Diesel is hard to ignite, I always assumed? Oh well, they know what they are talking about more than me.[/p][/quote]The fire is caused by a spark from electrical wires shorting together once the rats have gnawed the insulation off of the copper wiring that forms the wiring loom of every vehicle. Some circuits are constantly live even if the ignition is off to preserve radio settings, clocks running & alarm systems etc etc. doesn't matter if it's a petrol or diesel vehicle as the fuel isn't the source of the fire. God only knows what rodents find so tasty in eating the insulation as they don't usually chew through the copper core.[/p][/quote]But what is flammable to start the main fire? OK we may have a spark or three, but what is flammable? Genuine question, I'm no expert, but always assumed something has to be flammable for a spark to start a fire. IronLady2010

8:58pm Tue 1 Jan 13

richieroo says...

It depends what is near the sparks doesn't it?. It could be seating material, carpet, plastics, dust or fluff under seats etc.
Or alternatively if the wires stay in contact for a longer period of time creating a short circuit with a greater electrical current than the wires affected are designed to carry the wiring will get overheated & melt the insulation off & cause a fire quite rapidly. I've seen wires short & glow as hot as your toaster elements do within seconds!
It depends what is near the sparks doesn't it?. It could be seating material, carpet, plastics, dust or fluff under seats etc. Or alternatively if the wires stay in contact for a longer period of time creating a short circuit with a greater electrical current than the wires affected are designed to carry the wiring will get overheated & melt the insulation off & cause a fire quite rapidly. I've seen wires short & glow as hot as your toaster elements do within seconds! richieroo

12:44pm Wed 2 Jan 13

southy says...

IronLady2010 wrote:
richieroo wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote:
I know Firemen are far superior to me when it comes to knowledge of how a fire starts, but would a fire really be started by a spark when the engines aren't running.

Diesel is hard to ignite, I always assumed?

Oh well, they know what they are talking about more than me.
The fire is caused by a spark from electrical wires shorting together once the rats have gnawed the insulation off of the copper wiring that forms the wiring loom of every vehicle. Some circuits are constantly live even if the ignition is off to preserve radio settings, clocks running & alarm systems etc etc. doesn't matter if it's a petrol or diesel vehicle as the fuel isn't the source of the fire. God only knows what rodents find so tasty in eating the insulation as they don't usually chew through the copper core.
But what is flammable to start the main fire? OK we may have a spark or three, but what is flammable?

Genuine question, I'm no expert, but always assumed something has to be flammable for a spark to start a fire.
Do you know any thing about eletrical wiring on a motorise transport, 1 wire is to make the contection and the body is the earth, now days it a negitive earth.

Nearly every every thing is flammable, right down to the paint work, even Aluminum will burn if it gets hot enough because this a certain amount of magnesium is mix in. ( a classic case of Aluminum on fire was HMS Sheffield )
[quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]richieroo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: I know Firemen are far superior to me when it comes to knowledge of how a fire starts, but would a fire really be started by a spark when the engines aren't running. Diesel is hard to ignite, I always assumed? Oh well, they know what they are talking about more than me.[/p][/quote]The fire is caused by a spark from electrical wires shorting together once the rats have gnawed the insulation off of the copper wiring that forms the wiring loom of every vehicle. Some circuits are constantly live even if the ignition is off to preserve radio settings, clocks running & alarm systems etc etc. doesn't matter if it's a petrol or diesel vehicle as the fuel isn't the source of the fire. God only knows what rodents find so tasty in eating the insulation as they don't usually chew through the copper core.[/p][/quote]But what is flammable to start the main fire? OK we may have a spark or three, but what is flammable? Genuine question, I'm no expert, but always assumed something has to be flammable for a spark to start a fire.[/p][/quote]Do you know any thing about eletrical wiring on a motorise transport, 1 wire is to make the contection and the body is the earth, now days it a negitive earth. Nearly every every thing is flammable, right down to the paint work, even Aluminum will burn if it gets hot enough because this a certain amount of magnesium is mix in. ( a classic case of Aluminum on fire was HMS Sheffield ) southy

1:29pm Wed 2 Jan 13

sarfhamton says...

I find it surprising that people make jokes about other people starting fires for the insurance, i would not make libelous comments on a public forum.
I find it surprising that people make jokes about other people starting fires for the insurance, i would not make libelous comments on a public forum. sarfhamton

1:37pm Wed 2 Jan 13

manimaul says...

I knew this would spark off a plague of rat related puns.
I knew this would spark off a plague of rat related puns. manimaul

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