House fires in Radlett have been on the increase over the last two years, since the closure of its fire station.

Recent statistics were finally released after Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) refused a Freedom of Information request on the grounds it would take "35 hours".

Clive Glover, of Woodfield Road, requested statistics showing the numbers of property fires which have occurred in Radlett and Aldenham since the Radlett Fire Station was closed in October 2006.

He made the request for the number of house fires in the years since Radlett Fire Station was closed, but was refused on the grounds that it would take too long to produce the figures.

Mr Glover is a member of the Save Our Fire and Rescue group of Radlett residents who led the campaign against the closure and have been monitoring fires and accidents in the area ever since.

He said: “The main document making the case for the closure of Radlett Fire Station stated that Radlett is a 'very low residential risk' area and there were historically 'fewer than five' dwelling fires each year.”

In a change of heart, the figures were released and show that dwelling fires have increased, with eight in the year 2007-2008 and six in the year 2008-2009.

A spokesman for HFRS said: “Since the closure of the station three years ago, the residents of Radlett have received a level of fire cover in line with the rest of the county and there has been no increase in risk.

“Since the addition of the community safety team, more fire safety work is available to local people. We will continue to ensure that all Hertfordshire residents receive the necessary level of fire cover.”

Mr Glover added: “This increase will need to be considered in any future Community Safety Plans.

"Especially if there are further cuts to fire stations, firefighters and fire engines as suggested by the planned budget cuts and feared by the Fire Brigades Union.”