Soroba fire concerns

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Fire chiefs have pledged to work to stop fire-raising incidents in Soroba – but have denied they have trouble accessing the Oban site.

Community chiefs raised concerns that fire engines may not be able to get through streets in the area, where an abandoned mattress was set on fire in a children’s play area recently.

The incident, on Monday April 18, saw the rubber flooring of the play park in Colonsay Terrace damaged.

The incident was raised by Marri Malloy, convener of Oban Community Council, at a meeting of Argyll and Bute Council’s Oban, Lorn and the Isles community planning group.

But John Sweeney, station commander with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, said at the meeting on Wednesday April 27 that officers had no problem accessing the site.

Ms Malloy said: ‘There was a fire in Soroba, which you may not have thought was worth reporting on, but it was quite serious. When that mattress was set on fire, there were young children around.

‘I have had people in saying there are problems with car parking and you might not be able to get your engine through. Is there anything that can be done about that?’

Mr Sweeney responded: ‘We did an assessment of Soroba about two years ago. I can’t remember the distances we need to get to the doors of the flats but we didn’t have a problem getting there.

‘There are parking issues and I think you were at the meeting at the fire station where there was quite a lot of representation.

‘But we have never had issues getting access to Soroba. It is quite tight but it has never stopped us getting where we want to be.

‘On the mattress fire at the swing park, we are in discussion with police and we have also been contacted by others taking it up.

‘We have had a lot of engagement work in Soroba, because there was that fire and another on the hillside, so we tried to be seen in the local area.

‘We have engaged with local children as well and were told different stories. We couldn’t say for definite what happened, but Argyll Community Housing Association have requested a report and they have been following it up as well.’