Refuse truck fire leaves Chichester District Council with £40,000 invoice

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A BILL of £40,000 could have to be paid by a council after a fire at its depot.

Members of the Chichester District Council’s 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.

It comes after a refuse collection vehicle parked in the depot’s workshop caught fire last October.

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 corrosive 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.

Tools left on the premises by fitters added up to £10,110 in uninsured costs.

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 a meeting in Tuesday.