Becket’s Crown, the eastern most point of Canterbury Cathedral in Kent, England (Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC BY-SA 3.0)

In February 2009, over 100 firefighters from various fire stations in Kent, including Canterbury and Herne Bay, participated in a fire drill at Canterbury Cathedral. The cathedral was chosen for the drill due to its unique challenges, such as its immense height and size. The firefighters practiced tackling a simulated blaze in the roof of the building, using their new £500,000 high-powered pump, which can shift 8,000 liters of water per minute, equivalent to the capacity of four fire engines.Twenty-five firefighters utilized turntable ladders and breathing apparatus to access the roof through the front of the cathedral’s tower. They then navigated along the top of the building through the roof space, dragging hoses with them, to douse the area that was filled with fake smoke, simulating a fire.Cathedral safety manager Jim Morley emphasized the importance of constant vigilance and training in caring for ancient buildings, citing the fires at York Minster and Windsor Castle as examples. The cathedral had previously been destroyed by fire in 1067 but had not suffered any damage during the second world war.The fire drill was a valuable exercise for the firefighters, allowing them to familiarize themselves with the unique challenges posed by the cathedral’s architecture and to practice their response to a potential blaze. It also served as a reminder of the importance o

The cathedral was destroyed by fire in 1067 but did not suffer damages during the second world war.

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