Man dies in camper van blaze

Discussion in 'Motorhomes in the News' started by News, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. News

    News NewsHound

    Sep 12, 2007
    Likes Received:
    From the Sussex Express
    A Man has died in a camper van blaze.

    Police, firefighters and ambulance were called to Vale Road, Seaford, at 8.45am today (Thursday) after a woman called to say her father's campervan was on fire with him inside.

    The man was aged in his 50s.

    The fire was out by the time emergency services arrived.

    Fire investigators are currently at the scene.

    The road was not closed and no houses have been put at risk.

    From The Argus
    Tributes paid to camper van blaze man
    By Simon Barrett

    Tributes have been paid to a father-of-three who burned to death in a camper van blaze outside his home. The 59-year-old man, named by work colleagues as Alec Earle, suffered severe burns in the vehicle parked on his drive in Vale Road, Seaford. His teenage daughter called for an ambulance just after 8.40am today but the victim had suffered fatal injuries.
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    A spokesman for Sussex Police said the fire was already out by the time officers arrived at the scene, along with fire crews and an ambulance.
    Forensic investigators later scoured the scene for clues to identify the cause of the blaze, which is not believed to be suspicious. The road was not closed and no other houses were put at risk.

    Neighbours said the victim volunteered as a minibus driver for pensioners three days a week for the St James' Trust, based in Seaford.
    Colin Hammond, deputy manager of the charity, said: "I called his family today and they told me what had happened. I can't believe it.
    "He was a private man but very friendly and absolutely fantastic with all the people he helped. He was so patient with them. "It is not easy to find volunteer drivers, especially people so reliable. I just can't imagine working without him, I will miss him."

    Neighbours said Mr Earle was a quiet man who "kept himself to himself", and regularly slept in the camper van. It is believed he lived with his wife, son and two daughters.

    Pat Middleton, 55, said the father had a military background and had lived in Vale Road for about six years. He said: "I went to work this morning and then my son called me to say something was happening.
    "I'm completely shocked. Alec was a really kind bloke and the family were no trouble at all. "He was an early riser so I think he slept in the caravan to get some peace and quiet from the hustle of the house." Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: "It's a complete tragedy. He was a lovely bloke and has a young family. My heart goes out to them."

    A police spokesman said: "Sussex Police are investigating the cause of a fire in a camper van parked in Vale Road, Seaford, on Thursday morning.
    "Police were called to the scene at 8.45am by the ambulance service following the discovery of a 59-year-old local man with severe burns. Sadly, he had died from his injuries.

    "A forensic scientist was called to the scene to assist with the investigation."
    Police are expected to release the name of the victim tomorrow, once his next of kin have all been informed. An inquest has been opened to investigate the circumstances of the death.
  2. ourcampersbeentrashed

    ourcampersbeentrashed Funster

    Apr 19, 2008
    Likes Received:
    East London
    What took the emergency services so long that the fire was out BEFORE THEY ARRIVED !!!!!!!!
  3. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

    Aug 2, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Lincs/Cambs border
    Hi there,

    it is so sad to hear of incidents such as this one. let's just hope that arson continues to be ruled out.

    As for the arrival of the emergency services after the fire was out.......we do not have access to the facts.
    There are a number of reasons as to why they were possibly delayed.
    1..The time the initial call was received, especially if the fire went unoticed for some time.
    2..The location of the incident, ie remote, access problems, etc.
    3..The availability of the nearest police officer, fire crews and ambulance crews.
    4..Another incident in the area taking up available resources.

    I am not familiar with the area myself. Perhaps News can provide some details on the local topograpgy.

    As a former Firefighter of many years, my instinct would be to feel that No1 is the more likely reason.
    Also, I think it fair to add that anything that resembles a caravan/motorcaravan, goes up in seconds, and within a short period, is totally reduced to the bare chassis. This is due to construction materials such as soft wood, polystyrene, fibreglass, plastics, soft furnishings, and very thin, sheet aluminium.

    Was there a serviceable smoke detector installed in the MH?

    Let's hope that the family can come through it all in the course of time.


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