AUTOMATIC FIRE safety systems failed to slow the spread of fire at Center Parcs' Elveden holiday park, and instead fanned the flames, fire crews reported this week. Retracting roof elements and opening doors were designed to open automatically in the event of a fire to restrict the spread. Flames and smoke should have been directed upwards and out of the building rather that spreading sideways. However, according to Suffolk Fire Service station commander Sean Byrne, the system had the opposite effect. 'It would have been fine had the fire been concentrated and on the ground floor, ' he said. 'But as it started in the roof area, this mechanism only served to fan the flames.'