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East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo

Fires in Derelict Buildings

Date : 08 July 2021


In the last 48 hours, we have seen two fires in derelict buildings.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service were called at 03:43 on 7 July 2021 to reports of a fire.

Crews attended an address on Norlington Lane, Ringmer where two semi-detached derelict buildings were well alight.

At the height of the incident, two fire engines were in attendance. Crews used one Hose Reel Jet and two Main Jets to fight the fire. 

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service were also called at 03:20 on 8 July 2021 to reports of a fire.

Crews attended an address on Hundred Acre Lane, Wivesfield where the first floor and the roof of a derelict farmhouse were well alight.

At the height of the incident, eight fire engines were in attendance along with a command support team and a water carrier.

Police were also in attendance and the cause of the fire will be investigated.

Arson and deliberate fires are a problem for the Fire Service, the Police and the Ambulance Service. They endanger lives and divert valuable resources.

Arson often starts with a fascination for fire and progresses to lighting small fires but this can quickly escalate onto skips, cars, derelict properties and most disturbingly people's homes.

You can play a part in combating arsonists by following the practical advice below:


Rubbish is a ready source of fuel for an arsonist, so fires involving rubbish can quickly spread to nearby homes and buildings putting lives at risk.

Only put rubbish and recycling containers out on collection days

If you miss a collection contact your local council to report it

Never store rubbish or anything that can catch alight, in corridors, stairwells or escape routes

Keep communal bin stores secure and well lit

Store recycling containers a safe distance from buildings

Don’t overload skips and get them removed when full 

Security measures

One of the best ways to prevent arson is making sure your property is secure, including any derelict buildings.

Keep entry points to buildings secure, including sheds or garages, perimeter walls, fencing and gates

Board up and secure unused or derelict buildings

Prevent intruders and trespassing by making sure perimeters and buildings are well maintained and any damage is repaired as soon as possible

Consider installing security systems such as CCTV, alarms and security lighting

Keep any flammable substances stored safely and securely, not left in the open

Consider fitting a fire reduction letterbox  

On the streets

Dumped rubbish and abandoned vehicles are common targets for arsonists, you can help by reporting them to your local council.

Report fly-tipping to your local council to get it collected quickly

Report abandoned vehicles to your local council, as they can become a target for arson. They may cause damage to the environment from oil spills and the toxic smoke produced in a fire. Water used during fire fighting may also become polluted and affect sub-soils and water drainage systems

Report suspicious behaviour to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or contact Sussex Police on 101 with information. (Always call 999 in an emergency.)


Children who play with fire are an increasing problem. Very often, the child's fire play begins from curiosity.

However, in some cases, the problem may be more deep-rooted.

The child may turn to fire to vent their feelings of frustration, anger or jealousy.

It may also be a very graphic cry for help with a specific but unspoken problem.

Unfortunately, many parents do not recognise the symptoms, even fewer the cause. 

Visit our Firewise section for guidance and advice. 

Arson risk assessments

Simple risk assessments to reduce the risk of arson.

Small commercial premises


A collection of leaflets available to help combat arson. 

If you have any information about arson (deliberate fires) or any other crime please call Crimestoppers free and anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit Sussex CrimeStoppers

Tackle problems in your street head on and join/create your local neighbourhood watch scheme.

For more information go to Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation


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