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Wednesday, 13 November, 2002, 15:16 GMT
Couple trapped at home during strike
Pat and Victor Wills
Pat and Victor Wills need the lift to get to their flat
A Devon couple have been talking about the fear they will be trapped in their flat during the firefighters' strike.

Pat and Victor Wills live on the second floor of a sheltered accommodation block at Chudleigh, near Exeter.

They have been told by the block's managers they cannot use the lifts because there would be no fire crews available to come out to help if anyone got stuck in an emergency.

Devon Fire and Rescue Service said during the strike other arrangements would have to be made by lift owners and users if people using the equipment became trapped.

Lift out of order sign
Pat and Victor say it is an inconvenience
Victor Wills, 88, has severe difficulty walking. Climbing the stairs would be impossible for him.

Pat Wills said: "I'm just disappointed that this sort of thing has to happen in this day and age. Everything's here for our convenience. But it's convenient only if you can get up here and down from here."

Victor Wills said: "I just think it's disgusting, personally, to think they're upsetting so many people."

Pat Wills said: "I'm living in hope that they will come to their senses after 48 hours when they realise what inconvenience they're causing the general public."

Lift servicing

Victor was a Lancaster bomber flight engineer during World War Two. Both he and Pat say the strike is just another challenge they will face together.

Devon Fire and Rescue Service said it will be unable to attend premises and assist with the release of occupants shut in defective lifts.

The service said: "It is strongly recommended that lift installations are serviced as necessary and arrangements made for competent persons to attend to release people from broken lifts."


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13 Nov 02 | England
13 Nov 02 | England
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