Abandoned disposable barbecue destroys boat at a Purbeck cove

Despite campaigns across Dorset against the use of disposable barbecues, a boat at Chapman’s Pool in Dorset has been destroyed by fire started by a discarded disposable barbecue.

Fire crews from Swanage and Poole were called to the blaze at Chapman’s Pool just after 8 pm on Saturday 21st May 2022.

Fire caused by disposable barbecue at Chapman's Pool
DW Fire and Rescue

The tinfoil disposable barbecue was discovered in the ashes of the boat

“A boat severely damaged by fire and spreading to an adjacent boathouse”

A spokesperson for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue said:

“A crew from Poole along with a crew and small four-by-four pumping appliance from Swanage attended the incident, finding a boat severely damaged by fire and spreading to an adjacent boathouse on arrival.

“The fire was extinguished using a hose reel jet but the boat was fully destroyed and the boathouse severely smoke logged.

“Once the fire had been extinguished it was apparent that the cause of the fire was from a disposable barbecue.”

Chapman's Pool on the Purbeck coast

Chapman’s Pool is near Worth Matravers in Dorset

Budgen’s in Swanage has stopped selling disposable barbecues

A campaign by Litter Free Dorset to persuade local shops to stop selling disposable barbecues has been partially successful with Budgens in Swanage being the latest to stop stocking them.

Litter Free Dorset says that following meetings with supermarket head office managers, a number of Tesco Extra and Express stores, a Morrisons and an ASDA in Dorset have also joined Aldi and Waitrose by not selling them. Co-op stores continue to stock the item.

cars parked in loading bay

Budgens in Swanage has stopped selling disposable barbecues this year

Legally enforceable ban for parts of Dorset

Dorset Council has also brought in a legally enforceable ban preventing the lighting of fires in public places in parts of Dorset, although it doesn’t cover any of the Purbeck coastline east of Lulworth Cove, including Chapman’s Pool.

Disposable barbecues are viewed as anti-social by some, as they are single use, are flimsy and easily burn grass, and are often left as litter, as the coals are too hot to take home.

Disposable barbecue causing grass to burn
Wareham Fire Station

The heat from the base of the disposable barbecue can easily burn surfaces like grass and wood

“Always dispose of them responsibly”

The spokesperson for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue added:

“If you are using disposable barbecues, please make sure it is completely extinguished with no hot ashes left and always dispose of them responsibly.”

Watch Litter Free Dorset video

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