Three men survive house blaze

By Roddy AshworthONE man was seriously injured and another two had to be rescued from a rooftop after fire tore through a three-storey house.Ambulance and fire crews were called to Walnut Way, Clacton, in the early hours of yesterday after neighbours spotted smoke coming from a terraced house.

By Roddy Ashworth

ONE man was seriously injured and another two had to be rescued from a rooftop after fire tore through a three-storey house.

Ambulance and fire crews were called to Walnut Way, Clacton, in the early hours of yesterday after neighbours spotted smoke coming from a terraced house.

Bob Clarke, ambulance paramedic, said: “When we arrived two of the men were on the flat roof of the property after escaping from the fire. They were helped down from the roof on a ladder by fire crews.


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“Both men, who were estimated to be in their 20s, were treated from smoke inhalation and were taken to hospital in Colchester, though their injuries were not serious.

“The third man, also thought to be in his 20s, was found unconscious in the hallway of the property. We started treating him inside the house before the firefighters helped us lift him out on a stretcher.

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“He had suffered serious smoke inhalation and we had to maintain his airway all the way to Colchester General Hospital.”

Station Officer Kevin Thornicroft, of Clacton Fire Station, said it had been a “close call” for the survivors of the blaze, which started at 4.12am.

“Two people had climbed out of a window of the second floor, where the bedrooms were, and somehow made it onto the roof. Another man was unconscious inside, on the first floor, in a sitting room,” he added.

“It was a serious fire. It appears to have started in the kitchen, on the first floor, which has been totally destroyed. The rest of the first floor is very badly damaged by both fire and smoke.

“The cause of the fire is still being investigated. However, at this point we do not believe it is suspicious. There is nothing to indicate it is arson.”

An initial investigation suggested an unattended cooking pan had started the fire and Mr Thornicroft said the house did not have a working smoke alarm fitted.

A spokesman for Colchester General Hospital said: “Three men were brought into the hospital in connection with this fire, two of whom have been discharged. The third is still in hospital and his condition is described as stable.”

It is understood the third man was being treated last night in the hospital's critical care unit.

roddy.ashworth@eadt.co.uk

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