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UPDATE: Three people rescued after major fire at derelict Bournemouth house
THREE people were rescued after a major fire tore through a derelict house in Bournemouth.
The blaze broke out around 1.45pm on Sunday afternoon at a house earmarked for demolition in Wellington Road, Bournemouth.
Police, fire, ambulance and the air ambulance were all in attendance as more than 24 firefighters tackled the fire, with Holdenhurst Road and Wellington Road closed as a result of the incident.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing thick black smoke billowing across the road as well as people being rescued from the detached house and taken to hospital.
One woman, who did not want to be named, said: “It was thick black smoke and just came across the road in seconds.
“You couldn’t see the cars going round the roundabout. At this point none of the emergency services were there. A girl I was stood with called 999 and the fire brigade was there within minutes.”
Another man, James Cumming, who lives nearby said: “There was a big plyboard over the gate and the firefighters couldn’t get in and were hitting it with a sledge hammer until someone could get the bolt cutters and open it up.
“It took seconds. They were very quick.
“Three people covered in soot were brought out. One was sat on the pavement screaming. I think he had burns on his legs and on his neck.”
Residents said the property had been used by homeless people recently and one member of the public said they had reported to police that vagrants had been entering the property.
Dorset Fire and Rescue station manager Richard Coleman said: “Local crews from the station were here within a couple of minutes and found some people out of the building, injured from the fire, and a very serious fire in the building knowing that there were extra people in there.
“It’s a building that’s waiting to be demolished so it has fencing and locked gates.
“There is an area around the side where we were able to break in and we used bolt croppers to break the padlocks off the front of the building.
“Those crews had to work incredibly hard and they got inside the building and rescued three people.
“They are still being treated in hospital so they’re going to be the best source of information but we can’t talk to those yet.”
The cause is believed to be accidental but it is not yet clear how the fire began.
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