Fire Brigade rushes to help

Three cheers for Hornsey firefighters! I had to call the fire brigade last night. Sitting in my lounge at about 10pm a terrible noise started. Difficult to describe – a bit like a pneumatic drill / burglar alarm – but worse. I went to open the front door to see where the noise was coming from and as the noise got louder – thought to myself it was in the street somewhere.

Went back to the lounge and my younger daughter came down and I asked her if she could hear it. She could – and she went to front door and opened it and agreed it was louder outside. But then she went to the corner of the house and said it was the radiator in that corner.

I went over – and it was making a terrible noise – but there was even more noise from below in the basement where the boilers are. The house seemed at that point to be vibrating – so we screamed for my elder daughter to come, grabbed the dog and got out the house – as it felt as if something was about to blow.

I called 999 and the Fire Brigade, moved the car out the drive, put one daughter and dog in the car and the other daughter ran back in to turn off heating and hot water – which did stop the noise. We waited. Within a couple of minutes the firefighters arrived – checked everything – said it was a hammer airlock (probably) and that we had done the right thing. As another firefighter came up the path – he said – hello, I lobbied you in Parliament last week. And so he had! Small world.

Anyway – just want to say a public thank you – as it was a very frightening situation and they were there when we needed them. Literally – my heroes!

[Update: Conservative Brian Coleman has attacked me for calling out the firemen. More on this in my latest blog post – including the Fire Brigade confirming it was right for me to call them out.]

0 thoughts on “Fire Brigade rushes to help

  1. Appalling to see that Tory Brian Coleman attack you for calling the fire brigade – when the fire brigade said you had done the right thing! What makes him think he knows better than the firemen?

  2. Are you going to pay for the ridiculous call-out then Lynne? You call out firebrigade in an EMERGENCY, not because your boiler has an airlock and starts making a funny noise. You should pay the £250 an hour cost of an emergency callout. What if someone with a real problem had called at the same time as you and had their house burned down or worse?

  3. Next time the boiler makes funny noises…….switch it off….and the gas and electricity supplies and please don’t stop making a life or death drama out of an everyday occurrence… firemen are not (contrary to myth) there on the 999 line for things like this. I hope at the very least (like those rescued by the RNLI) you made a donation as least as much as the call-out cost to a relevant firemen’s charity…..

  4. I have had a similar problem before, I just grabbed the kids and did exactly what you did.

  5. HiJust wanted to say that after reading the BBC article on your incident I would have done exactly the same thing. Call the experts in and ask questions later, ‘dizzy’ indeed – sensible I’d say and I’m pleased that the London Fire brigade made that clear!

  6. Hi Lynne,I’ve just read the BBC article, and I’m glad you’re okay.Despite the incorrect comment from a certain bloke that “you should have called a plumber”, it’s clear you did what everyone should have done when something’s not right. It gets out an important message, and the Fire Service spokesperson was spot on.If anything, it perhaps goes to show that the Fire Service could perhaps also have a “First Responder” list, as the Ambulance Service does. I’m so proud that my father, in his retirement is using his medical experience to be able to get to a heart attack victim much faster than an ambulance would be able to do. Perhaps retired plumbers could do the same!

  7. There could not be a better example of the reasons why so many people have lost faith in British politicians.A previous MP in Lynne’s party wrote an authoritative history of the English Speaking Peoples and won the Nobel prize for literature. The current generation describe themselves as “dizzy”, do not know when to use proper nouns and describe firemen as heroes, “literally”, because they can recognise a fault with a central heating system.How many proper emergencies went without their heroes while this was going on?How likely did Lynne really think it was that the house was going to explode if she let her daughter go back in while she made sure her car and dog were safe?These people are making our laws. Is she really the best we have?

  8. Get a grip you silly cow. Is it any wonder the country is in the state it is with people like you in parliament?!And I doubt you’ll publish this comment as the truth often hurts and lets face it politicians know little about that subject!

  9. Hi as a serving firefighter, I can honestly say you did exactly the right thing in calling out your local fire service. The fire service has a responsiblity to serve the community in all ways. Community safety is at the forefront of what we do, we would much rather see early action being taken than having to deal with the aftermath of a catastrophic failure. Your boiler could have potentially been life threatening either through a defective flue or indeed an explosion. May I suggest both a carbon monoxide detector and a smoke detector be fitted if you do not have either. Ready to serve and protect.

  10. The comment from the fireman saying calling 999 was right rather trumps the critics in this thread!

  11. My wife called 999 when our dishwasher was making funny noises, sparking and smoking. When the fire service arrived they put out the electrical fire inside the system which couldn’t be seen from outside the unit. That could easily have been the case with yours too.You did the right thing. According to the BBC News article:Brian Coleman, Conservative chairman of London’s fire authority, said “If your boiler is making a noise you switch it off.”A London Fire Brigade spokeswoman said: “If your boiler suddenly starts making strange noises in the middle of the night, call the fire brigade.”In the face of these two contradictory statements, I’d err on the side of the safety of your family.

  12. Having just read the BBC article, I can’t believe what a prize plonka Brian Coleman, (Conservative chairman of London’s fire authority) has shown himself to be.The fire brigade have always stated that if in doubt, phone them. Even the fire brigade spokeswoman stated that was the correct thing to do.Makes you wonder how Mr Coleman managed to become the chairman of the London Fire Authority.I’m quite sure you are able to discriminate between a simple boiler problem and a boiler that sounded like it was going to explode.I’d have done the same thing, and I will continue to do so.

  13. I think the criticism you’ve received is well merited.You really should have switched it off first, before deciding whether you really needed to call out the emergency services.And while I’m here: please don’t misuse the word ‘literally’.

  14. Lynne, your daughter showed more calm in the situation than you did, and she isn’t an MP.There was no reason to call Emergency Services for an airlock in your CH system, and to allow her back into your home after deeming it unsafe enough to evacuate and call 999 was to say the least negligent. Sorry.

  15. Lynn, I saw a link to your story on another site.Reading all these comments, and the negative remarks, i’m disgusted by those who choose to castigate.I’m a heating/gas engineer by trade, and I say you did the right thing. I suspect from the sound you describe that the system over-pressure valve was operating, which causes a loud clattering to spread through the pipes. It can be a scary noise, turning the boiler supply and the gas off was the right thing to do, because it averts the chance of an explosion. A boiler explosion is devastating, and can cause collapse of a house.Thankfully they are rare in this country.It is NOT an abuse of the 999 service if you truly fear such a thing might be about to happen.”If in doubt, get out”

  16. Anonymous / firefighter: Thank you so much for your post. Much appreciated!

  17. I'm a bloke with some mental health issues.I confess to having very little knowledge of boilers, apart from keeping their temp at <60 degrees.But if it were late at night and the same instance occurred it would cause some concern.Not everything is black and white, there are shades of grey for everything.Some people will only ever see black and white, I pity the people involved with these unfriendly hard-liners.Get some humanity people, look around you…Now is not the time to be pointing fingers, look within.Relax.

  18. Lynne, I’m a heating engineer and would be more than happy to come and fix your boiler for free.If I get anywhere near the amount of publicity you received then I would be sorted in these time of economic crisis, ‘cos to be honest, I have never heard of you before but now you’re everywhere.Oh, mine’s black and non sugar thanks love.