North Yorkshire firefighters forced to enter burning house to save trapped person because badly parked cars blocked their aerial ladder vehicle in

Firefighters were left incredulous when cars parked on double yellow lines opposite Scarborough Fire Station blocked them in during an emergency call.

The crew members had to enter a burning building themselves to save a trapped person because they were unable to reverse the vehicle carrying their aerial ladder platform out of the building on North Marine Road on Saturday October 16.

Emergency services have long warned of the dangers of illegally parked cars blocking access along narrow roads for police and fire vehicles and and ambulances - in coastal areas there have even been reports of RNLI stations and lifeboat slipways being obstructed.

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Scarborough Fire Station crew

Yet such behaviour having a direct impact on a 'life or death' situation is rare.

Scarborough's station manager Graeme Casper said: “The fire was very near to the station, no more than 30 seconds away on blue lights. While the main pump turned out with ease, it was when we had to attempt to turn out with the aerial ladder platform that the problem occurred.

“There was a vehicle parked opposite making it impossible to turn out of the bay. Instead of being able to use the platform to make the rescue via an upper floor window, our firefighters instead had to reach the person by going into the burning property.

“This greatly increased the risk to the person who needed rescuing, as well as to our firefighters whose job was made more difficult directly because of the illegal and irresponsible parking opposite the station.

“If this isn’t sorted soon, my real fear is that it will eventually create a life or death situation.

“This is clearly unacceptable. Drivers need to realise that their selfish actions are hindering an emergency service which could, ultimately, end up costing lives.”

Mr Casper added that the problem is now a daily occurrence in the seaside town. His staff have tried to reason with some of offending motorists and asked them to move on, only to be met with verbal abuse.

He added: “Scarborough Council has increased parking patrols in the area to help address the problem in the short term, but we fully acknowledge that they cannot be on-hand around the clock.

“We are seeking a more permanent solution through North Yorkshire County Council. Our hope is that yellow hatched markings will be placed on the road to ensure all of our emergency vehicles, including the aerial ladder platform, can be operated from the station without any hindrance from other vehicles parked nearby.”