Firefighters praised after seven rescued

Published: July 6, 2006 | 4404th good news item since 2003

PART-time fire fighters have been praised for averting a seaside tragedy.

A rapid response from Saltburn’s retained fire crews led to six residents being led to safety and a seventh rescued from a top floor window, following a blaze at a three storey Victorian house, converted into flats.

The building’s staircase was torched in the early hours of this morning – cutting off the residents’ only means of escape.

One person was rescued by a fireman and brought down on a 30ft ladder. Five residents were led to safety after firefighters put out the blaze which had been started on the staircase of the building in Saltburn’s Milton Street. A pet dog was also saved.

Five of those rescued from the 2am blaze were taken to hospital suffering the effects of smoke inhalation, four of them being admitted.

Another resident received hospital treatment for minor cuts he received after smashing a window.

There was smoke damage to four flats and fire damage to the building’s staircase and a landing.

Station Officer George Crooks, who took over command of the firefighting operation and the investigation into the cause of the blaze, said: “I give an accolade to the retained fire fighters for their prompt response.

“There is no doubt, whatsoever, that the rapid response by the retained crews made all the difference. All the training, all the exercises, all the equipment and all the partnership working with the other services came together at 2am this morning,” Mr Crooks said.

“These are retained firefighters – but professional firefighters some of whom will have gone to work, to their normal jobs in factories and serving in shops today.

“The fire was contained within the access staircase. The firefighters arrived quickly. Crews have gone in and dealt with the fire of the staircase. They put the fire out promptly, ventilated the staircase and evacuated the people.” Cleveland Police were today questioning a 39-year-old man on suspicion of arson.

Published in Rescues
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