Flat blaze lucky escape

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A PRESTON couple had a lucky escape after they returned home on Christmas Eve to find their flat ablaze.

People living around the fourth floor apartment were evacuated as crews using dry powder and wearing breathing apparatus spent two hours tackling the blaze at the converted mill.

At one point crews from four appliances were involved in the incident, caused by clothing left to dry on an electric wall heater.

Mark Woodward, watch manager from Preston Fire and Rescue said: “Because this is a six-storey building we class this as a high rise incident so had to get a water supply in through the internal supplies and set up a bridge head. We had to call in other crews.”

He added the occupants had fled the flat after returning home to find the fire alarm on and the blaze. They ran to the ground floor of the building and called for help.

Mr Woodward added: “They had a very lucky escape. We had to use dry power and that caused a real mess.”

He warned: “They were lucky but he damage to the heater was severe. The key message here is do not put clothes on or near electric or gas heaters and certainly not near open fires or log burners.

“These peopel were extremely lucky. There was extensive fire damage and a lot of smoke damage. If people need advice they can contact us.”