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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Firefighters rescue residents trapped in flats

22/06/2015

Fire appliance
Fire engine

Firefighters rescued residents who were trapped in their homes after a blaze broke out at a flat in Burton.

"Due to the fact that the fire had spread to the stairwell, people couldn’t physically leave the building so firefighters rescued them using ladders. Some of the older people were unable to climb down the ladders so firefighters stayed with them to ensure they were safe until they were able to escort them out of the block of flats."

Station Manager Paul Richins

The fire in the ground floor apartment had spread to the communal stairway, meaning that people living above could not leave the building on Shobnall Close.

Crews used ladders to allow residents to climb out of their windows to safety. In cases where the residents were elderly, firefighters climbed into their homes and stayed with them while their colleagues tackled the blaze.

When the fire had been extinguished and it was safe to leave their properties, residents were led to safety by the crew.

Firefighters wore four breathing apparatus and used two hose reel jets when dealing with the incident which started in the living room.

One crew from Lichfield, one from Tutbury and one from Burton as well as the Aerial Ladder Platform from Burton attended the fire at 10.07am on Saturday. A crew from Swadlincote in Derbyshire also helped to tackle the fire.

Nine flats in the three-storey block were affected by smoke and four people were treated by paramedics at the scene for smoke inhalation. Crews left the incident at 1.28pm.

Station Manager Paul Richins said: "The residents of this block of flats did exactly the right thing - when the alarm activated in the communal hallway, they stayed in their own flats with the front doors shut.

"Due to the fact that the fire had spread to the stairwell, people couldn’t physically leave the building so firefighters rescued them using ladders. Some of the older people were unable to climb down the ladders so firefighters stayed with them to ensure they were safe until they were able to escort them out of the block of flats."

The fire has been classed as deliberate ignition.