SPRINKLER SYSTEMS that could have saved tens of millions of pounds of damage to Center Parcs' Elveden holiday park in Suffolk, were due to be fitted this week.
Previous fires at other Center Parcs resorts elsewhere in Europe prompted the company to install a sprinkler system in Suffolk. This had been fitted throughout the Plaza complex, and was awaiting connection to a pumping plant which stood idle in a car park as fire fighters tackled last week's blaze.
Had the accident occurred one week later, it is thought that much of the damage would have been averted and the atrium saved.
The decision to install the system in Suffolk came after fire destroyed the Center Parcs complex in De Eemhof, Holland, on 23 May 2000. This £55M complex - modelled on the Eleveden holiday park - reopened on 29 March 2002 after a 14 month construction period and is thought to have had sprinklers fitted.
Fire safety experts said that there were no requirements in building codes for single storey buildings to be fitted with sprinklers.