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CHILDREN and staff at an Irlam nursery practised their fire escape routine so well that when it happened for real they knew exactly what to do.
Around 30 children, aged between eight months and four years old, had to evacuate Flutterbies Nursery on Penry Avenue, Cadishead, after a fire broke out shortly after 11am on Wednesday, December 2.
But thanks to well-rehearsed fire drills, everyone got out safely and nobody was injured.
Three fire engines from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) were called to deal with a fire involving roofing materials on the roof of the building.
Station Manager Paul Smitham, who was in charge of the incident, said: “Once a month they practise their fire routine and they go to the church across the road. This time it was for real and it worked really well – the processes they have in place and the staff training is excellent.
“We used sheets to cover up everything inside the building to salvage as much as we could.
“Firefighters also used special water packs that use less water to fight the fire to help keep any water damage to a minimum and they removed the burnt materials.”
Flutterbies Senior Manager, Kimberly Dixon, said: “We were making dinner and one of the girls said they could smell smoke. We thought it might be from the dinner but then we realised it was a fire. Within two minutes everyone was out of the building and safely in the church across the road.
“There had been a leak in the roof which had caused some of the tiles to fall off so somebody was fixing the roof when it happened.
“We thought it was just smoke but when we were outside we could see that it was burning.
“Every month we do a fire drill and we practise quickly leaving the building and going to the church and last year we had the local firefighters in to give a talk so that we knew how to stay safe and what to do if there was a fire.
“The firefighters who came out were really brilliant. They went into the nursery and made sure everything was safe and then gave us a briefing about what had happened.”
Nursery staff hope to be back in the building on Monday, December 7.
For fire safety information and advice, including how to create a fire escape plan, visit http://manchesterfire.gov.uk/fire_safety_advice/