VEOLIA Water has been forced to explain why a family home in Ruislip was left burning for so long before fire crews found a usable hydrant to tackle it.
The Kapoor family of Sidmouth Drive were left with 'only the clothes they stand in' after their home was gutted last Tuesday. The family was lucky to all escape without injury.
Their pet Staffordshire Bull Terrier perished in the blaze.
Neighbours who had to evacuate their own homes as the blaze raged for four hours have demanded to know why fire crews couldn't properly tackle it for about 45 minutes, as they struggled to find enough water pressure in the street.
Water firm Veolia admitted the London Fire Brigade’s (LFB) hoses had to stretch about 400 metres to Torrington Road to connect to a usable water hydrant.
A spokeswoman said: “Veolia Water was made aware of a fire at 11.10pm and attended the site within 35 minutes. The fire service was drawing water from two 2.5inch standpipes connected to one 3in water main, and this caused a strain on the water pressure.
“We advised them to connect to a 6in water main in Torrington Road, two streets away, to provide sufficient pressure. Our water mains network is made up from varying sized water mains, all of which are suited to the requirements and needs of each street.
“Our role is to advise on the most suitable points to take water from. We feel that we responded in the quickest time possible.”
LFB said it faced problems on the night. A spokesman said: “Firefighters were confronted with an extremely well developed fire. Issues with water shortage will be discussed.”
Roger Proudfoot, of Victoria Road, said he had spoken to members of the family since the fire.
“They have been left with only the clothes they stand in, everything is gone.”
Danielle Porter, of Cottingham Chase, added: “It was very frightening and the family were lucky to get out. It was like something out of the movies.”
The cause of the fire is being investigated. Hillingdon police say it is not suspicious.