Family in Christchurch flat fire left sleeping while rest of block evacuated (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Family in Christchurch flat fire left sleeping while rest of block evacuated
A YOUNG family with a nine-month-old baby say they were traumatised when their blazing Christchurch apartment block was evacuated, but they were left in bed.
Abigail Roberts, 25, and her three young children were not alerted to the top floor fire despite the rest of the 16-flat building being evacuated at 2am last Monday.
The fire alarms did not sound in the ground floor flats, so residents of the Barrack Road banged on their neighbours’ doors, but no one attempted to wake the young family, according to Abigail.
She said: “I didn’t find out until late Monday morning and I was absolutely gobsmacked that we had been left in our beds.
“When I spoke to the firefighters they said they could have rescued us if necessary, but I would have preferred to have been told to keep my children safe.
“I don’t care how big or small the fire is. It’s like when there’s a fire in a school, everyone should be evacuated, not just a couple of classrooms.” Abigail says her seven-year-old daughter Tiffany who attends Christchurch Infants School is too terrified to sleep overnight in the flat, even though she and her siblings Ashton, four, and nine-month-old Mya were unhurt.
Tim Spring, Dorset Fire and Rescue Service area manager for Bournemouth and Poole said: “Adjoining flats have at least one hour of fire separation as part of their structure.
“The incident commander at Barrack Road ensured that no member of the public was put at risk at any time. We continue to work with Sovereign Housing to ensure their residents are as safe as they can be from fire.”
Dorset Fire and Rescue Service revealed the fire at the flat was caused by a chip pan left on by mistake.
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