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Three generations escape village house blaze

By Bedfordshire On Sunday  |  Posted: March 05, 2013

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FIREFIGHTERS were called to deal with a fire in the roof of a two-storey end of terrace house in Westoning High Street, late on Monday night.

One of the occupiers dialled 999 when they were alerted to the blaze at around 10.30pm.

The family of three generations all got out safely before the fire and rescue service arrived.

Within minutes, four fire crews from Toddington (two), Ampthill and Woburn were at the scene and firefighters in breathing apparatus had entered the building.

The fire had spread quickly in the roof space and was threatening to spread to the neighbouring property. Crews inside the house tackled the blaze through the loft hatch. A turntable ladder from Bedford fire station was also sent to the scene, to enable them to tackle the fire from outside as well as inside the building.

Station Commander Mark Barter, who was in charge of the incident, praised the actions of the first crews to arrive at the scene. He said: “The fire was already well established in the roof space when we arrived, and was threatening to spread over the top of the roof and into the next door property. The first crews at the scene immediately sent firefighters inside the house to tackle the fire, via the loft hatch. This swift action definitely helped to prevent a more serious fire from developing.”

Station Commander Barter also praised the response of the occupiers. He said: “It can be tempting to try and tackle a fire like this yourself. But to do so can place your life at risk. The family concerned did exactly the right thing and heeded the advice of our Control by making sure that everyone got out of the building safely - and then stayed out. This meant that the firefighters could concentrate their efforts on tackling the fire.”

Because of the risk of the fire spreading to adjoining homes, three other properties were evacuated.

The fire, which damaged 50 per cent of the roof, was brought under control at around 2am Tuesday. There were no reported injuries and British Red Cross volunteers attended the scene to provide some temporary refuge and support to the families who had been evacuated.

An investigation is underway but the cause of the fire is not thought to have been suspicious, and was most likely to have been electrical.

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