Westhampnett depot fire to cost £40k

CHICHESTER District Council could end up paying out up to £40,000 after a fire.

Members of the cabinet are being asked to approve a budget of up to £40,000 from council reserves to cover uninsured losses from the fire at the Westhampnett Depot.

On Tuesday, October 2, a refuse collection vehicle parked in the depot’s workshop caught fire.

The cause of the fire remains unknown but officers believe it was caused by an electrical fault.

The lorry was deemed a total loss.

In their report to the members, officers said the fire damage was contained within the vehicle cab but smoke and soot spread throughout the workshop, stores and upstairs rooms.

The soot was found to be of a ‘corrosive’ nature and ‘urgent action’ was needed to clean the building and equipment. The cost of this clean up by Belfor Ltd will be covered by the council’s insurer, Zurich.

However, the council also incurred uninsured costs.

Three vehicles were written off as a result of damage – two above the policy excess of £10,000 and one costing £4,780.

Tools left on the premises by fitters added up to £10,110 in uninsured costs and a further contingency cost of £5,110 has been added to the £40,000 total.

Another £12,000 was incurred for the cost of replacement freighters for six weeks but this will come out of existing budgets.

Members have been asked to approve the funds at their meeting at East Pallant House, from 9.30am next Tuesday (January 8).