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Fire crews rescue unconscious man from blazing high-rise block

PUBLISHED: 16:30 27 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:23 05 October 2010

A MAN lying unconscious in his home in a high-rise block of maisonettes in East London was rescued by fire crews in breathing gear who had to battle through thick smoke to reach him. A neighbour three floors above raised the alarm after smoke began filling the corridors of the eight-storey Kingsham House in Ramsey Street, Bethnal Green, at 6.30 this morning

Mike Brooke

A MAN lying unconscious in his home in a high-rise block of maisonettes in East London was rescued today (Fri) by fire crews in breathing gear who had to battle through thick smoke to reach him.

A neighbour three floors above raised the alarm after smoke began filling the corridors of the eight-storey Kingsham House in Ramsey Street, Bethnal Green, at 6.30 this morning.

The blaze broken out in a second-floor maisonette, but rescuers had to force the front-door open to reach the man trapped inside.

Firefighters in breathing apparatus found him overcome by smoke and carried him to safety while tackling the blaze in his kitchen.

“This man had a lucky escape,” senior fire brigade officer Richard Welch told the East London Advertiser.

“We were able to get in quickly. If crews hadn’t got there in time, it would have been worse.”

Crews managed to confine the fire to the maisonette and stopped it spreading to the rest of the building. Only the kitchen was badly damaged. A saucepan over-boiled, causing the blaze.

“We’ve dealt with quite a few fires recently caused by cooking left untended,” the senior fire officer added.

“More than half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen.”

The fire was under control in seven minutes. The man they rescued, who is in his 50s, was treated by ambulance paramedics and taken to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Other families in the block were advised to remain in their homes with windows and doors shut while the blaze was being dealt with and not try to get through the smoke which had filled the corridors.


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