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Firefighters rescue man from burning flat
A MAN was taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation after being rescued from a burning top-floor flat in Worcester city centre.
Emergency services were called to John Gwynn House, on the corner of Bridge Street and North Parade shortly before 1pm after smoke was seen coming out of a window at the rear of the apartment block.
Matt Denwood, owner of the Old Rectifying House pub next door, said: “I saw there was a haze of smoke in the gardens at the back of the pub, so I went out and saw smoke coming out of the window.
“I called the fire brigade and then me and Matt from the pine shop went into the flats to try and rescue the man. We got to the door of the flat where the fire was and we could hear him shouting, but just then the fire brigade arrived.”
Annette Powell, owner of a hair salon in Newport Street at the back of the apartment block, said: “You could see smoke coming out of the kitchen window, and the man was at the window with a cloth over his mouth, shouting for help.”
She said the resident was known to local residents and traders as Graham, although she did not know his last name.
One of the residents safely evacuated was 63-year-old Tadeusz Seredynskim, who was in his first-floor flat when the fire broke out.
“I heard the alarm and many fire engines arrived,”
he said. “I looked upstairs and could see smoke coming from the roof. A fireman was asking people to move outside.
It was a shock.”
The fire brigade turned out in force, with three appliances and an aerial ladder from Worcester, two from Droitwich and one from Malvern on the scene.
Newport Street and part of Bridge Street were closed off while the man was rescued and the fire was put out.
The man, believed to be in his 50s, was treated on the scene by paramedics before being taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital for further treatment.
John Gwynn House is owned by Sanctuary Housing and contains 43 flats.
Station commander Toby Kempton, who headed the fire brigade operation, said that a ladder was put up to the man’s window, but it was decided it was unsafe to try to bring him down the ladder.
Instead he was led to safety via the building’s stairwell by firefighters.
“At an incident like this, one of our main priorities is to make sure that nobody is left in the building, that everybody has been safely evacuated,” he said.
“I particularly want to praise the firefighters who went into the flat to rescue him and deal with the blaze, because they had to work in conditions of extreme temperatures and dense smoke.”
He said it was too early to say what cased the fire.
A spokesman for Sanctuary Housing said: “The fire was contained within one apartment and we have provided alternative accommodation for the affected resident.
“All the other residents are now returning to their homes.
“We do not yet know the cause but are doing all we can to assist the fire service with their investigations.”
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