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Hazard Management and Emergency Planning by John Handmer, Dennis Parker

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CHAPTER 3

Peacetime emergency planning in Britain – a County Emergency Planning Officers' Society view

ROBIN GAINSFORD

 

The British drug houses fire, Poole, Dorset, June 1988

The night of 21 June is the shortest night of the year but in 1988 it proved to be anything but short to the emergency services, voluntary agencies, local authority officers and residents of the Borough of Poole in Dorset. This was the night of the British Drug Houses (BDH) fire when over 3,500 people in Old Poole were evacuated and accommodated in three separate rest centres. As I understand it, this was the then largest evacuation of civilians in Britain since the Second World War. Fortunately, no-one was killed or seriously injured.

Shortly after 18.30 hours fire ripped ...

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