Bury St Edmunds: Woman dies in hospital following flat fire in Langton Place

Langton Place, Bury St Edmunds.

Langton Place, Bury St Edmunds. - Credit: Archant

A woman has died in hospital following a fire at her Bury St Edmunds flat.

The woman, aged 55, was rushed to the town’s West Suffolk Hospital in a critical condition after the blaze broke out in the second-floor flat in Langton Place on Monday night.

Three fire engines from the town attended the scene after being alerted at 8.45pm.

A volunteer doctor from The Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS) emergency medical charity was called out to assist paramedics with the treatment of the woman who had suffered a cardiac arrest due to inhaling smoke from the fire.

Yesterday a spokeswoman for Suffolk Police said the casualty had died in hospital that afternoon and her next of kin had been informed.

Police have said the blaze is being treated as non-suspicious and is thought to have started accidentally.

A spokesman for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said as part of the fire investigation they are looking at a number of potential causes, one of which is smoking materials, for example cigarettes.

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Robert Everitt, cabinet member for Bury St Edmunds at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said he was shocked to hear of the tragedy, adding his thoughts are with the woman’s family.

“My heart goes out to the family of the deceased and hopefully we will find out how and why that started.”

Langton Place, which connects Hatter Street and Whiting Street, has businesses, including a barber’s shop, clothes shops and a bar, on the ground level.

While most of those working in Langton Place were aware of the fire, nobody knew the casualty.

James Baker, who manages the property involved in the fire on behalf of WJ Baker Property Management Ltd, said the woman was a tenant and had not lived there long, perhaps two to three months.

He said he was on duty on Monday night when the fire alarms went off, adding they automatically connect to the fire service.

Jade Chorlton, owner of Belles & Beaus boutique, said: “I was on my way home from a dance lesson and someone called me to say what had happened and I just came back down here.”

An ambulance service spokesman said they were called to the scene at 9.06pm, adding two rapid responders, an ambulance and a SARS doctor and a duty manager attended.

He said they managed to bring the patient out of cardiac arrest, but they were still in a critical condition.

Fire crews had dealt with the blaze by 10.25pm. It is understood to have been contained to the flat.

The fire investigation is expected to take two to three days.