Update: firefighters rescue six people from blaze in Rainham flats
14:08 25 April 2014
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus rescued six people this afternoon following the second blaze in a week at the Rainham block of flats.
As the residents smelled smoke they rushed into the stairwell of the three-storey block in Ongar Way and suffered the effects of smoke inhalation.
The brigade’s control officers advised it was safer to stay inside their flats until the firefighters arrived but some residents ignored this and tried to leave the building.
Resident Claire Sainsbury, 32, said: “I saw loads of emergency vehicles - I had never seen anything like it before.
“I felt sorry for the elderly people sitting on the grass and I was worried somebody might have got hurt.”
This is the second instance of fire in the block this week, according to Ms Sainsbury.
The fire brigade were called at around 12.30pm and 20 firefighters had the stairwell blaze under control 45 minutes later.
A London Fire Brigade spokesman confirmed that there was also a bin set alight outside the block on Tuesday.
The spokesman also offered advice: “If you live in a purpose built flat it’s vital that you know what to do if a fire breaks out in your building.
“If there is a fire elsewhere in the block, but not inside your flat, you’re usually safer staying inside your flat unless heat or smoke is affecting you.
“If you leave your flat, as happened today, you could be rushing into choking smoke, the fire itself or firefighters using equipment to bring the fire under control in another part of the building.”
For more information on fire safety for residents of high rise buildings visit www.knowtheplan.co.uk
The fire brigade are investigating the cause of the fire.
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