Seven rescued after house blaze
SEVEN people - including five youngsters - escaped from a fire in a house last nightafter a child playing with a cigarette lighter started a fire. The blaze broke out at just after 5pm in Railway Street, Braintree, at a home only a few hundred metres away from the town's fire station.
SEVEN people - including five youngsters - escaped from a fire in a house last nightafter a child playing with a cigarette lighter started a fire.
The blaze broke out at just after 5pm in Railway Street, Braintree, at a home only a few hundred metres away from the town's fire station.
The children in the property, who were aged between one and seven, were rescued by a father-of-two who was in the house when the fire started.
He took three of the children from the building as the fire took hold before running back in to get the others out.
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The victims were all suffering from smoke inhalation and an ambulance was called as a precaution although no-one required hospital treatment.
Last night the victims were all staying with relatives.
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Steve Wintrip of Braintree fire station said a mother and her three children had been visiting when the fire broke out in the downstairs living room.
The station officer said: “There were no smoke detectors at the property and had it happened at night, I have no doubt we would be looking at seven fatalities.
“We are only about 400 metres away from the house and the man came running to us to raise the alarm, calling 999 on his mobile as he did it - so it was a very quick response time.”
He said there was no need for further investigation into the cause because they were satisfied it had been started by a child playing with a lighter.
Four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus had searched the heavily smoke-logged detached property, next to a building site.
It took about 20 minutes to get the blaze under control and another hour-and-a -half to put it out and removed the debris.
The lounge area was totally destroyed and the rest of the house was hit by smoke and heat damage.
Two crews from Braintree attended and used two hose reel jets to bring it under control.