London Fire Brigade

Firefighters respond to biblical downpour

15 August 2014

London Fire Brigade attended 30 flood related incidents yesterday afternoon as ‘biblical’ downpours hit parts of the capital.

Parts of South East London including East Greenwich, Lewisham, Forest Hill, Sydenham and Erith were the worst hit with heavy rain between 2pm and 3.30pm. Most of the calls were to flooded basements properties and electrics compromised by rising water levels.

A man was rescued from his basement flat on Sunderland Road in Forest Hill after flood water had trapped him inside. Firefighters were also called to two houses on Princes Park in Rainham that had been struck by lightning. Thankfully there was no fire but the roof of the semi detached homes was damaged.

Top flooding tips

The Brigade has issued three top flooding safety tips:

1. Put people before property.  Move your family and pets upstairs or to a high place if your home floods.
2. Stay well away from flood water and talk to children about how dangerous it can be to play in the water.
3. During a flood, don’t go out unless you have to. Remain calm and call 999 if you are in danger.

London Fire Brigade spokesperson said:

“The rain that hit south east London between 2pm and 3.30pm was of biblical proportions.

“The modern fire service doesn’t just put out fires but deals with a range of emergencies, including road traffic accidents, building collapses and flooding. In London we have a range of specialist equipment to rescue people trapped by flood water, help us pump water away and to help us protect properties.”

Flooding equipment

London Fire Brigade also has 14 fire rescue units, several of which are equipped with water rescue equipment such as inflatable rescue boats. It also has six high volume pumps.

It also has four specialist flood response kits, each of which contains rigid flood rescue boats and paddles as well as rigid floating pontoons which can be used to make bridges and walkways to rescue people. The kits are also equipped with protective dry suits and boots to be worn by fire crews when they rescue people from flooded areas.