UPDATE: Gants Hill fire victims ‘jumped’ from window

Two of the people who jumped for their lives from a blazing flat hit the pavement face first, says an eyewitness.

Three people are in hospital after four jumped from a first floor window when flames ripped through their flat above Crossland Estate Agents in Woodford Avenue, Gants Hill at 10.15pm yesterday.

It took a team of 30 firefighters more than two-and-a-half hours to get the fire under control.

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

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


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

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

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“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 from the London Ambulance Service said they were called just before 10.15pm.

She added: “We treated a woman with multiple injuries and a man who were both taken to the Royal London Hospital [Whitechapel] accompanied by a doctor from the air ambulance.

“A 52-year-old man with hand and back injuries was taken as a priority to Queen’s Hospital, Romford.”

Did you see the fire? Or do you have images of the blaze? Contact newsdesk on 020 8477 3821.

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