Mother and child escape through window as blaze breaks out in block of flats
PUBLISHED: 14:40 13 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:32 13 January 2020
A family-of-three, including a mother and child, climbed through a window to escape a blaze at a block of flats in Clacton.
Emergency services were called at around 1.24am on Monday, January 13 to the scene in Nayland Drive.
According to a spokesman for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, a family member had called 999 saying his mattress was on fire and that he had pulled it into the first floor lobby of the two-storey block of flats.
The man then went back into his flat but was trapped inside due to the thick smoke and fire.
When fire crews arrived at the scene, they found that a woman and a child had already been lowered to safety through a window but that the man was still trapped inside the flat.
He said: "Firefighters quickly pitched a ladder to rescue the man, while more firefighters tackled the mattress fire in the lobby."
The fire was extinguished by 2.22am.
Three crews - two from Clacton and one from Weeley - attended the scene of the fire.
Crew manager Samuel Mussett, from Clacton Fire Station, said the most important thing to do in the event of a fire is to get out of the building as soon as you can.
He said: "Although the homeowner thought he was doing the right thing by moving the mattress out of his flat, he inadvertently moved the fire to the lobby area - not only burning his hands in the process but trapping himself and potentially three other flats.
"It's easy to panic in the moment, but the most important thing to remember is if you discover a fire in your home - get out, stay out and call 999."
The flat has suffered some smoke damage and the lobby area has been badly damaged by fire.
Following the blaze, the fire service have issued advice urging people to equip their homes with smoke alarms.
A fire spokesman said: "Smoke alarms are proven lifesavers.
"They give warning at the first sign of fire, waking you and your family up and giving everyone the time they need to get safely out and call the fire service."
To ensure every home in the county is fitted with alarms, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service will visit any home in Essex and will fit a smoke alarm free of charge.
If you live in Essex and would like to book a free home safety, visit Essex Fire's website.