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Fairfax Place, Dartmouth

D-Drill support fire investigators in Dartmouth

A remote control machine, which is usually called upon for demolition work, helped to discover the route of a major fire that devastated Dartmouth.

The blaze in Fairfax Place in Dartmouth’s town centre back in May ruined five listed buildings and made it impossible for fire investigators to enter.

But thanks to a remote-controlled robot, operated by diamond drilling and sawing specialists D-Drill, a safe path was cleared and the analysis could begin.

The project was managed on behalf of the property holders and their insurers by Colin Souch of Devon-based structural engineers, Paul Carpenter Associates.

He said: “The risk of potential collapse was far too great for anybody to get into the building, so we needed to provide access by other means.

“We contacted D-Drill because they are experts in the operation of Brokk machinery and I know from other lines of work how versatile they can be.

“They were able to clear a corridor for scaffolding to be inserted, making it safe for people to enter.

“The project was a success, everything worked to time and everybody went away happy.”

Jimmy Smith, branch manager at D-Drill in Plymouth, said: “The floors and roofs were made of timber which all fell into shell of the buildings.

“The Brokk was sent into the building controlled from up to 20 yards away by our operator David Smith to grab and pull out of the building all the obstructions until we had a clear path into the building.

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