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Disposable barbecue warning following Cambridge fire

Firefighters are urging the public to take on board safety tips when using disposable barbecues following a fire last night (July 26).

Cambridge firefighters were called to extinguish a bin fire on Jesus Green at 9.40pm but when they arrived they were met with not only a flaming bin but also a number of smouldering disposable barbecues that had been abandoned on the beauty spot.

The crew extinguished the bin fire using a hose reel and used buckets of water to put out the other smouldering barbecues they found on the Green.

Cambridge firefighter Ross Turner, white watch, said: “The fire started because a disposable barbecue was left on a bin and because it was still hot, it set fire to the bin. We were shocked to see so many other disposable barbecues had been left smouldering littered across the Green – there must have been between 15 and 20 others lying around. Not only can these barbecues cause further fires, but they are also a hazard to other people using the city’s parks and greens.

“Disposable barbecues can burn for up to eight hours after they have been used therefore you should never simply leave them unattended or put them in or near a bin. The best thing to do once you are finished with them is fill them up with water and leave it to cool. Once it is cool to the touch, you can then empty the water and responsibly dispose of the barbecue.”

After dealing with the barbecues on Jesus Green, the Cambridge crew had returned to their station by 10.30pm.

Anthony French, Senior Asset Development Officer for Cambridge City Council, said: “Generally, we don’t permit the use of barbecues on city council managed open spaces because they cause unwanted damage to grass that takes time to repair. However, we have put in special facilities at Jesus Green, where we have stone plinths, and at Sheep’s Green, where there’s a brick plinth.

"People can use these to enjoy their barbecues safely without causing any damage. We have also installed metal bins at both sites for disposing of used barbecues to reduce fire risk and people should use these, rather than the general waste bins, to avoid causing a fire. I’d urge anyone taking barbecues to Jesus Green or Sheep’s Green to use the facilities provided for their own safety and that of other people.”