Pensioner dies in flat fire

TRAGEDY struck this weekend when a pensioner was killed in a flat fire in Clacton. Firefighters were called to the warden-run accommodation after a smoke detector was set off and arrived within five minutes, but unfortunately the 75-year-old woman could not be saved.

TRAGEDY struck this weekend when a pensioner was killed in a flat fire in Clacton.

Firefighters were called to the warden-run accommodation after a smoke detector was set off and arrived within five minutes, but unfortunately the 75-year-old woman could not be saved.

An investigation into the cause of the blaze at Canters Meadow Court has been launched, although it is not thought to be suspicious.

It is understood that the pensioner, thought to be called Joy, may have accidentally started the fire when she lit a cigarette.


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Senior Divisional Officer Mark James said: “Our deepest sympathies are with friends and family affected by this loss.

“Our firefighters were on the scene within four minuets of us receiving the call but tragically, despite their best efforts, nothing could be done to save this poor lady's life.”

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The ground floor flat was cordoned off by police who sent a forensic team to investigate the fire, which started just before 4am on Saturday.

A spokesman for the Hanover Housing Association, which runs the home, said they were doing all they could to help enquiries and comfort residents.

Speaking at the scene Assistant Divisional Officer Mark Huggins said: “We were on the scene within four minutes, so the fire did not have time to spread, so no one else was affected.

“When the first crew went in there was a small fire, but there was also a lot of smoke. A team using breathing apparatus went in and used a hose reel to put it out.”

Afterwards firefighters spoke to residents in the surrounding area to educate them about fire safety, installing smoke detectors and planning escape routes.

Margaret Holmes is a support worker for adults with learning difficulties at Redbridge Community Housing Association, based opposite the sheltered accommodation.

She said: “It really is quite tragic. I saw the fire engines and flashing lights. Several of the tenants woke up and at first I just assumed it was a false alarm.

“Then when there was all the activity and the police cars arriving later in the morning, you realise it is something serious.”

An Essex Police spokesman said there were no suspicious circumstances.

He said efforts were now being made to contact the woman's family, who do not live locally, and said she would not be named until that had been done.

Two crews from Clacton attended the scene.

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