Nursing home residents evacuated

female first aider caring for patient

St John Ambulance volunteers were today involved in a dramatic evacuation after a fire in a petrol station threatened a local nursing home.

A fire broke out in the early hours of the morning (Friday 29 May) at a petrol station in Chaxhill, Gloucestershire, on the A48. The station contained a number of gas cylinders and it was feared that they may explode, causing damage to properties nearby.

The ambulance trust asked for our assistance when evacuating the home and we transported patients to other homes or hospitals from a nearby rest centre.

Dennis Egglestone
Emergency Planning Officer, St John Ambulance Gloucestershire

A decision was taken to evacuate the nursing home residents to Minsterworth village hall and from there to nearby homes and hospitals. Two St John Ambulance vehicles, crewed by four volunteers, provided assistance from 12 to 6pm on Friday and were due to provide a similar level of care on Saturday.

Immediate response

Dennis Egglestone, Emergency Planning Officer for St John Ambulance in Gloucestershire, said: ‘The fire took hold in the early hours of the morning (Friday 29 May), and there were fears that if gas cylinders exploded that it may affect residents in a nearby nursing home. The ambulance trust asked for our assistance when evacuating the home and we transported patients to other homes or hospitals from a nearby rest centre. 

'This enabled them to be properly cared for. Two of the patients were over 100 years old  and many of them were very frail with existing medical conditions but the operation was well handled and they’re all being well cared for. It’s likely that we’ll be able to return the residents to the home tomorrow when it’s safe for them to return.’