Haverhill: Fire in block of flats leaves men with burns and smoke inhalation injuries

Fire-engine

- Credit: Archant

Two men suffered burns and smoke inhalation in a flat fire overnight in Haverhill.

Police were attending another incident in the town when they saw “thick black smoke” coming from the building off Queen’s Street in Drake’s Yard at around 12.50am.

The officers rushed to the flats and broke through the main communal door to gain entry. They then banged on the doors of each of the four flats. When they reached the third flat they broke down the door and made a search inside. But while that was going on the two male occupants of the fourth flat rushed outside shouting.

A force spokesman said: “These two people suffered smoke inhalation and burns but they are not life-threatening. They were treated by ambulance staff.

“It was not thought to be a suspicious fire – it may have been an electrical fire or caused by a cigarette.

“Emergency accommodation had to be found for some of the people. St Edmundsbury Borough Council had to get someone out to Haverhill to open the Haverhill Arts Centre at 3.30am.”

Chief inspector Kim Warner, policing commander for St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath, said: “This could have been a potentially tragic incident which was averted thanks to the quick actions of our officers.

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“After seeing the smoke coming from the building they forced their way into the block, alerted the occupants of the flats and ensured everyone was evacuated safely.

“I commend everyone involved for their bravery in this incident, which is a great example of the different ways in which our officers respond to protect members of the public. I am really proud of each and every one of them.”

Two rapid response cars and an ambulance were dispatched. A spokesman for the service said: “Two men suffered smoke inhalation and one had burn injuries to his chest. Both were taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital for further treatment and their conditions weren’t thought to be life threatening.”

The fire service was called sending three crews. A spokesman said: “On arrival the crews found there to be a fire in the second floor flat and used four breathing apparatus, two hose reels and a covering jet to fight the fire. The incident was under control by 2.11am. Two persons were treated for smoke inhalation and were conveyed to hospital.”

Crews eventually left the scene at around 4.30am.

Did you see what happened? Send photos to newsroom@archant.co.uk.