Norwich’s Roman Catholic cathedral is not on fire

Concerned members of the public who thought the Roman Catholic cathedral was on fire have been calling the emergency services only to find out the 'smoke' is steam from the heating system.

Fire crews were called out 21 times last year and so far this year they have received 10 calls about the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Earlham Road being ablaze.

Rev Patrick Limacher, cathedral deacon, said: 'We have a heating system in the cathedral which puts the steam and smoke up one of the spires of the cathedral.

'We had the fire brigade out twice on Thursday, December 21. It's a waste of resources.

'I get paranoid when I hear sirens and think 'here we go again'. We have a very sophisticated fire system which will call the fire brigade itself, it has a detector. It is a grade one listen building.'


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The eco-friendly heating system was installed in 2010 and steam is vented several times every day.

He added: 'The normal response would be three appliances and a helicopter.

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'Time is being wasted. It is where the problem lies.

'It happens when the temperature outside falls to about four or five degree because that is when have a problem with condensation and steam.

'I can understand people's reactions. It would be nice if we could try and get the information out to people.'

A spokesman for the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: 'We have been called on a number of occasions to the Roman Catholic Cathedral since the new heating system was installed, and would like to thank the public for their vigilance.

'We continue to talk to the cathedral over this matter and would ask people to be aware of the situation. We would ask people to be mindful that steam is vented several times a day and maybe have a second look before calling us. Having said that, if anyone is in any doubt we would still urge them to call 999.'

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