Search

Trapped pregnant woman rescued as 30ft flames gut staircase

PUBLISHED: 11:13 06 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:30 05 October 2010

A PREGNANT woman was rescued from her second floor maisonette when a blaze broke out in the staircase of her block in East London, trapping dozens of families in their homes. The blaze was one of two suspicious fires within 30 yards of each other at the same time in two blocks on Stepney's huge Ocean Estate late last night (Tues)

A PREGNANT woman was rescued from her second floor maisonette when a blaze broke out in the staircase of her block in East London—trapping dozens of families in their homes.

The blaze was one of two suspicious fires within 30 yards of each other at the same time in two blocks on Stepney’s huge Ocean Estate late last night (Tues).

Old furniture left in the stairwell of both Pevensey House and Memora House in Duckett-street and Ben Jonson-road were set alight, investigators believe.

The staircase at Pevensey House was totally destroyed as flames shot up 30 feet, leaving only one other staircase in tact.

The pregnant woman was helped to safety by rescuers after smoke began seeping into her maisonette in Memora House. But she was unharmed and declined any medical help.

Now fire chiefs are appealing for families to keep stairwells clear because of the safety hazard.

“The fires would have spread to their homes if we hadn’t got there in time,” said senior fire officer Richard Welsh.

“Mattresses and old sofas dumped in the entrances to both blocks were set alight.

“We urge the families to call the local authority if anything is dumped in the entrance again—because it’s a safety hazard which could cost lives.”

The fires took 30 minutes to bring under control, with families advised to stay in their homes with their doors and windows closed to prevent smoke getting in.

Investigators later brought in sniffer dogs as police forensic teams and CID officers sifted through the charred rubble to see if accelerants had been used. There were no injuries.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists