A baby and a person in a wheelchair were among eight people rescued from burning flats by firefighters after a dramatic blaze at a block of flats in Peterborough this morning.
Residents in a block of flats in Tansor Garth, Westwood, had smoke coming in to their properties and could not safely leave the two-storey building at 7am today.
In total eight people - seven adults, one of which was in a wheelchair, and a baby - were rescued by firefighters from four different flats. The building houses five flats in total - three upstairs and two on the ground floor - and one of the flats was unoccupied. One casualty was taken to hospital by ambulance as a precaution to be treated for minor smoke inhalation.
Combined Fire Control firefighters spoke to three separate households on the telephone who called 999 and gave them lifesaving advice until fire crews arrived and safely rescued the residents.
Police have now arrested two men on suspicion of arson in connection with the fire.
Station Commander Lynn Betteridge, incident commander, said: “The fire had started in a communal area on the ground floor and was contained to the area. It was extinguished by two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus with a hose reel.
The fire in the communal area caused a very large amount of smoke, which affected all the flats, making it impossible for the residents to safely escape.Station Commander Lynn Betteridge
“The fire in the communal area caused a very large amount of smoke, which affected all the flats, making it impossible for the residents to safely escape.
“Our combined fire control firefighters and frontline crews have done an incredible job this morning of giving these residents, some of whom were understandably very scared and anxious, life-saving advice enabling us to safely rescue them, resulting in a safe outcome.”
An East of England Ambulance service spokesman said four people were treated at the scene - two were discharged with no injuries, one discharged having suffered a hand injury, and one was taken to Peterborough City Hospital after suffering ‘minor smoke inhalation.’
An 18-year-old man and a 22-year-old man, both from Peterborough, have been arrested on suspicion of arson.
Police are keen to hear from anyone with information about the incident. Please contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.