Fishing platform at Church Marshes Country Park destroyed by fire
By Hayley Robinson
A fishing platform at the Church
Marshes Country Park has been completely destroyed by fire.
Sittingbourne firefighters were
called to the lake at 7.15pm last night after a resident,
whose house backs on to the marshes, spotted smoke.
On arrival they found the heavy
duty plastic platform was already well alight.
Unable to get the fire engine close
to the lake due to restricted access the crew was forced to tackle
the fire with buckets attached to lines.
They then used water from the lake
to douse the flames. After an hour the fire was finally out.
Mark Innes, green watch manager for
Sittingbourne fire station, said: "It’s heavy duty plastic so it
would have been very difficult to set light to but there was
nothing left of it at the end except stumps in the ground
"The plastic was dripping in to the
water and creating an oil slick effect but there was nothing the
crew could do about it because the platform was actually over the
water - plus the fire was very hot and they couldn’t get too
"I don’t know whether any wildlife
or fish would have been affected by it.
"Last year we were called to the
lake after someone set light to the heavy duty plastic platforms
which had been delivered to the site, so this is the second time
we’ve been called out there."
A spokesman for Swale Borough
Council said: "Our officer visited the lake the following morning
and found that it was a fishing platform that had been destroyed by
fire, and not a walkway as first feared.
"It appeared that a fire had been
set nearby and it’s possible that this is connected with the fired
"We will be contacting the Police
Community Support Officers who have been instrumental in cutting
down motorbikes on the site, and we will also contact the fishing
club that has a licence from Swale Borough Council for the
exclusive use of the lake.
"The platforms are not wood, but a
man-made material which is slower to burn than wood therefore it
would have fewer timber-related insects associated with it, and we
are hopeful that any sheltering small mammals would have been able
"Our officer is also fairly certain
that the fish would have all gone to the bed of the water and would
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