UPDATE Firefighter taken to hospital after Gants Hill fire

A firefighter was taken to hospital after suffering dehydration fighting the Gants Hill flat fire that seriously injured three people.

The 47-year-old man, from Ilford Fire Station’s blue watch, was taken by ambulance to King George Hospital at 12.50am yesterday after reportedly feeling unwell and agitated at the scene of the blaze in Woodford Avenue.

Three people had earlier been taken to hospital after jumping from first and second floor windows when flames ripped through their flat above Crossland Estate Agents at 10.15pm on Wednesday on one of the warmest nights of the year.

Doctors released the unnamed fireman yesterday morning with orders to drink plenty of fluid and have three days rest.

Eyewitness Barrie Wright, of Whitehall Road, Woodford Green, said: “The fire was raging out of one of the windows, and acrid smoke had filled the flat.

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“The first two occupants just jumped from the window. I heard the crack as their face hit the pavement, they were seriously hurt.”

Mr Wright said bystanders used a dust sheet to break the fall of a third escapee, saving her from serious injury.

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Watch manager Mark Mills said: “The fire was already fully developed when we arrived at the scene.

“Our crews worked incredibly hard to prevent the fire from spreading to neighbouring flats. Had it not been for their efforts, this fire would undoubtedly have caused much greater damage.”

A spokeswoman for London Ambulance Service said three people were taken to London hosptitals with multiple injuries before staff were later called back to the scene to treat “a man in his forties”.

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