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Everyone agreed, and several hundred residents were there, the open day at Plaistow Fire Station was a flaming success.

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The station on Prince Regent Lane threw open its doors to the public giving visitors tours of the facilities, demonstrations of oil fires and rescue procedures, and fire safety advice.

The Green Watch crew were joined by 999 pals from the police and ambulance service. It was also the day that Firefighter David Longe, 48, the organiser, could say thankyou to two charities that have greatly helped him a difficult and worrying illness.

A £1,000 has been raised by the father of two who has also served at East Ham Station, to be shared by the fire welfare service and the cancer-supporting Macmillan nurses charity.

Representatives of the beneficiaries were at the event to collect their funding.

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