Families homeless after major fire in Chadwell flats

Firefighters were called to tackle a fire in a flat on the second floor of a high rise block. Several floors of the building were affected by smoke and crews evacuated families inside.

ECFRS received a number of calls alerting crews to the incident and sent a pre-determined number of appliances – four pumps and an aerial ladder platform – because the fire involved a high rise block.

At 20:18 hrs, crews reported that evacuation was in progress but that everyone had been accounted for and there are not believed to be casualties. Eight pumps and ECFRS’ Brentwood-based Control Unit are now at the scene.

At 20:43 hrs, Divisional Officer John Moulson, the officer in charge, reports that the fire in the flat has been extinguished and 10 minutes later firefighters began ventilating the homes affected using high pressure fans.

The incident was dealt with by 21:17 hrs. One woman, believed to be in her late twenties, has been left homeless as the incident caused severe damage to her three-bedroomed flat. She was checked over by Ambulance Service paramedics at the scene but did not need hospital treatment.

A joint Police and Fire Service investigation will be carried out to establish the cause of the incident.

Divisional Officer John Moulson said:”When we arrived at the scene there were reports of two separate fires on the second and ninth floors. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus went inside and evacuated some 50 people from above and below the affected floors and sheltered them in a downstairs lobby.

“It turned out that there was a single fire in the second floor flat but that smoke had travelled up through the ventilation system to the ninth floor, which was smoke logged but free from fire.

“Firefighters did well and worked quickly to put out the fire and prevent spread to other parts of the high rise block. The flat involved was extensively damaged.”

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