Blackdown Hall fire in Leamington causes ‘severe damage’

Posted under Miscellaneous on 20 Feb 2014

A fire that burned into the night at an Edwardian apartment block in Leamington has caused “severe damage”, firefighters have said.

The blaze at Blackdown Hall is believed to have started on the first floor at around 13:45 GMT on Wednesday before spreading to the roof.

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“Start Quote

When the fire started it was very small. Then it engulfed the whole house”

End Quote Dan Moyser Resident

Twenty firefighters are still working to dampen down flames.

No residents were injured although one firefighter was taken to hospital after being hit by a falling roof slate.

‘Spread significantly’

The fire service said the officer had been discharged from hospital with minor injuries.

Residents spent the night in a rest centre set up at North Leamington School.

Resident Dan Moyser said: “When the fire started it was very small. Then it engulfed the whole house.”

Gary Philips, deputy chief fire officer at Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service, said the fire had spread through the roof space.

He said it could have been contained, had sprinklers been fitted in the building.

“Most of the building has been affected,” he said. “The building was converted to flats which creates hidden roof voids and the fire had spread significantly.

“There has been damage to most of the flats and we have had to cut away most of the woodwork. It’s distressing for residents and I do feel for people who have invested in the property and now won’t be able to live there for some time.”

He added the flat where the fire started had been “severely damaged”.

“Had the developer fitted sprinklers in those premises when those flats were converted we would now not be having this conversation and families would not have been displaced,” Mr Philips said.

He said crews were still working to ensure the fire was out.

“If we were to leave the scene early and the fire reignited we could have a catastrophe on our hands,” he said.

He said it was so far unclear what had caused the fire.

Source: bbc.co.uk