Fire engines delayed by giant flower pots

Three fire engines trying to get to a fire in central Gothenburg on Wednesday were delayed after large flower pots placed in the street proved to be immovable.

“We must be able to get where we need to go and not jeopardize citizens’ lives,” said Bengt Holm of the Gothenburg emergency services to local paper Göteborgsposten (GP).

The problem arose when the fire brigade was answering an alert of a chimney fire in a Gothenburg eatery on Wednesday afternoon.

The fire turned out to be easily put out, but in order to get there the fire engines were forced to ram a number of large flower pots placed in the street by the city’s public transport authority (Trafikkontoret).

According to the paper, the pots have been placed in their current location by the agency in order to prevent heavy traffic from entering the newly laid street, Kungsgatan.

“The pots are there to hold back traffic. The street has to settle before heavy traffic can be allowed to travel on it,” said Magnus Jäderberg of the agency to GP.

However, Jäderberg stressed that it is possible to move the pots.

“Four people should easily be able to drag them to the side,” he told the paper.

However, according to Jäderberg the agency does not mind that the pots have been destroyed.

“We don’t care that they are broken, we’ll just have to cough up the money,” he told GP.

According to Holm, they have previously agreed with the agency that movable pots would be fine but in this the pots were so unwieldy that three firefighters together were unable to move them, which is why they were forced to ram them with the engine.

“We will continue to pursue a dialogue with the transport authority and if we feel that it doesn’t work we will have the pots removed,” he said to GP.

The Local/rm

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Stockholm firefighters tackle bus depot blaze

Emergency services in Stockholm were continuing on Tuesday morning to tackle a fire that started in a bus depot almost 24 hours earlier.

Stockholm firefighters tackle bus depot blaze
File photo of a fire engine in Stockholm: Pontus Lundahl / TT

The fire, which began at around 10.30am on Monday, is likely to cause problems with traffic diversions and irregular public transport throughout Tuesday, according to SL, the company which runs the capital city's public transport.

“It's still burning and we don't know yet how long we will need to be there. Probably the whole day,” said Hans Eriksson from the Stockholm fire service. “Now we are concentrating on protecting the other surrounding buildings.”

The fire began in connection with work on the roof of the building, which contains a large bus depot and the connected offices.

Eriksson said: “It's an old building with a roof built in a complicated way and construction work, so we haven't wanted to sent people up to the roof and fight the fire from within. That's another reason it's taken longer.”

No buses are reported damaged as most of the fleet were on Stockholm's roads at the time of the fire.

Police have opened an investigation into carelessness endangering of the public.