Neighbour tells of Ilford man’s desperate escape from fire

A neighbour has described the moment a man had to smash a first-floor window and leap for his life after a fire broke out.

The blaze started at about 7pm on Tuesday in a house in Coventry Road, Ilford.

Neighbour Rahayna Islam said: “The bedroom was so filled with smoke that I thought the blinds were down but then a man appeared out of the darkness at the window desperately trying to break the glass.”

The neighbour saw a young woman smoking outside the property shortly before the fire started.

Once she realised what was happening, she desperately tried to help the man and screamed for help.

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Ms Islam said: “She was hysterical. It all happened so quick and it was very distressing. I was trying to prevent my young son from seeing what was happening.

“As the man was trying to escape the burning room he was accidentally cutting his wrists on the broken glass and he was losing so much blood. He was in a lot of pain and clearly in shock.”

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Bystanders tried to help and told the man to use a towel to stop himself from getting hurt.

She said: “He didn’t look quite with it. Whether this was because he had just woken up I don’t know.”

A neighbour who lives opposite the house ran to help the man with a ladder after hearing the screams.

But the man jumped through the smashed double-glazed window before he could be rescued.

He needed emergency medical aid at the roadside before the ambulance crew reached the scene.

He is in the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, with serious burns and a head injury.

The blaze took about 30 minutes to put out.

Fire crews managed to save 75 per cent of the first floor and all of the ground floor from fire damage.

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