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Gants Hill fire forces 50 people to be evacuated

PUBLISHED: 08:22 28 August 2015 | UPDATED: 17:33 28 August 2015

Chalford Court, Pershore Close, Gants Hill. Picture: Ajay Nair

Chalford Court, Pershore Close, Gants Hill. Picture: Ajay Nair

Archant

Firefighters were forced to evacuate 50 people after a fire damaged a block of flats in the early hours of the morning.

Chalford Court, Pershore Close, Gants Hill. Picture: Ajay NairChalford Court, Pershore Close, Gants Hill. Picture: Ajay Nair

Crews were called to Chalford Court, Pershore Close, Gants Hill just after 2.45am.

The fire was believed to have started in the roof of the top floor flat.

The roof of the three-storey block was damaged, as was the second-floor apartment.

It took six engines and 35 firefighters to bring the blaze under control, and no injuries were reported.

Nigel McCormick, Ilford watch manager, said: “A man noticed the fire in his loft and quickly called the brigade.

“But he remained in his flat until crews arrived and we’d like to remind people that if there’s a fire in your home, get out, stay out and dial 999.

“Fire crews and police evacuated the block as a precaution due to the possibility of the roof collapsing. Thankfully no one was injured.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Woken up by the commotion in the middle of the night was Hasna Begum, of Pershore Close.

“There was a lot of fire, my 10-year-old granddaughter was so scared – she’s the one who woke me up,” she said.

“The whole street woke up, the fire was burning for a long time – about two, three hours.”

Another resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “I’ve never seen anything like it before – I’ve lived here for 10 years.

“Everyone was outside, it was very surreal, it was shocking, it was complete madness.”

Lipi Uddin, who also lives in the street, said: “The fire was really blazing, it was really bad, there was a lot of smoke.

“They evacuated the building really quickly – everyone was on the street, it was mad.”

Cllr Ashley Kissin visited the site this morning and spoke to residents living in the block.

He said: “I went to have a look and it’s just a wreck basically.

“A guy was woken up by what was the crackling of wood burning – he thought it was his cat scratching at the door.”


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