60 firefighters battle blaze on top floor of student block in Bournemouth town centre

60 firefighters battle blaze on top floor of student block in Bournemouth town centre

60 firefighters battle blaze on top floor of student block in Bournemouth

60 firefighters battle blaze on top floor of student block in Bournemouth

60 firefighters battle blaze on top floor of student block in Bournemouth

60 firefighters battle blaze on top floor of student block in Bournemouth

60 firefighters battle blaze on top floor of student block in Bournemouth

60 firefighters battle blaze on top floor of student block in Bournemouth

First published in News
Last updated
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MORE than 60 firefighters battled a top floor blaze in a block of flats in Bournemouth town centre today.

Many occupants of the St Peter’s Gate block, in St Peter’s Road next to the church, were alerted to the danger at around 9am by the smell of smoke, while others were roused by fire crews banging on their doors.

After the initial call at 8.45pm, the emergency services attended the scene in force, including 11 fire engines from across the area, three support vehicles, an aerial ladder platform and a support team from the Red Cross.

With the occupants evacuated, the crews used three main line hose jets and breathing apparatus to extinguish the blaze, which was restricted to the flat where it started.

See how the drama unfolded in our live coverage of the fire here

Dorset Fire and Rescue monitoring officer Simon Dennett, Weymouth Station Commander, said: “The fire started in a residential flat and it stayed in the flat of origin.

“Some evacuation was already in progress when we arrived. We searched the rest of the building and assisted in the operation.

“We don't believe there have been any injuries.”

The fire took place in a flat on the fifth floor of the block, which houses many foreign students and young workers.

Footage by Sam Tarling

Police closed off St Peter’s Road and Horseshoe Common, leading to minor diversions for Yellow Buses services heading to the railway station and Christchurch.

By 9.40am the fire was extinguished, but the cordon remained in place while crews dampened down the flames and checked the building for hot spots using thermal imaging equipment.

Many residents of the block, urged to flee by emergency services personnel, left the building in such a hurry they were gathered outside in their pyjamas.

Student Ana Del Rio, 25, said: “I was sleeping and the first I heard of it was there were firemen knocking on the door.

“They were saying “get outside”.

“We didn't know what was going on and I was pretty shocked.

“We didn't even have time to get changed, we just went straight outside.”

One of her flatmates and fellow language college students, 32-year-old Alfonso Fernandez, said they were going to miss their classes as a result of the blaze, but it was better than being trapped inside.

He said: “We've been waiting about an hour now. I hope no one was hurt.”

Another resident Alejandro Lopez, a 33-year-old who works at the bar of the Royal Bath Hotel, said he heard a ‘fire noise’ earlier that morning but had fallen asleep again.

“I obviously wasn’t that worried,” he said.

“But then I heard the sirens and then the firefighters were knocking on the door. They were shouting “there's a fire, get out”.

“It wasn't very calm and it made me a bit more nervous about it.”

He added: “I did get dressed, though. I've got work in half an hour.”

Another resident, Morad Kajur, was woken by the smell of smoke, while Yolima Barros, 35, heard something hitting her window.

“I dismissed it at first as it is such a noisy building, I thought it was someone banging around upstairs,” she said.

“I closed the window but then I could smell smoke, like something burning.

“That was it, I was scared so I got my trousers on and went straight outside. I think everyone got out.”

The cause of the fire was clothing which accidentally came into contact with a heater. 

Fortunately no one was injured in the blaze, and it was contained within the flat. The road was re-opened by midday.

Comments (10)

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4:55pm Fri 16 May 14

BIGTONE says...

No communal fire alarm?
No communal fire alarm? BIGTONE
  • Score: 6

7:00pm Fri 16 May 14

O'Reilly says...

Wow! Alfonso was going to miss classes....FFS
Wow! Alfonso was going to miss classes....FFS O'Reilly
  • Score: 5

7:49pm Fri 16 May 14

trishatburnham@hotmail.co.uk says...

I think its disgusting that the students didn't hear the fire alarms what planet do they live on whatever country you go to a fire alarm when it goes off is recogniseable I thought they suppose to have brains they could have put the firefighters in danger it was lucky there wasn't any fatalities and whoever caused the fire by drying clothes near a heater needs to be procecuted
I think its disgusting that the students didn't hear the fire alarms what planet do they live on whatever country you go to a fire alarm when it goes off is recogniseable I thought they suppose to have brains they could have put the firefighters in danger it was lucky there wasn't any fatalities and whoever caused the fire by drying clothes near a heater needs to be procecuted trishatburnham@hotmail.co.uk
  • Score: 2

9:21pm Fri 16 May 14

KLH says...

I lived in a HMO back in the 90s and people were always coming in drunk, and setting off fire alarms, either deliberately or drunkenly mistaking the smash glass boxes for light switches. It happened so often, people stopped bothering to respond, it was always someone else's job to work out how to stop the control panel bleeping and reset it once you had silenced the alarm. 98% of the time there wasn't a fire or it was someone burning toast. One occasion a guy set fire to his duvet, falling asleep with a fag, and gutted the flat - alarm going off, but nobody apart from me and another bloke were coming out of their beds as perceived it was the usual. Only on seeing smoke coming down the stairs we hammered on doors and even then were ignored!!
I lived in a HMO back in the 90s and people were always coming in drunk, and setting off fire alarms, either deliberately or drunkenly mistaking the smash glass boxes for light switches. It happened so often, people stopped bothering to respond, it was always someone else's job to work out how to stop the control panel bleeping and reset it once you had silenced the alarm. 98% of the time there wasn't a fire or it was someone burning toast. One occasion a guy set fire to his duvet, falling asleep with a fag, and gutted the flat - alarm going off, but nobody apart from me and another bloke were coming out of their beds as perceived it was the usual. Only on seeing smoke coming down the stairs we hammered on doors and even then were ignored!! KLH
  • Score: 3

10:25pm Fri 16 May 14

Bournefre says...

The article doesn't mention fire alarms, but that doesn't explain why it took the fire brigade over 12 hours to get there. I would have expected the building to have burned to the ground by then.
The article doesn't mention fire alarms, but that doesn't explain why it took the fire brigade over 12 hours to get there. I would have expected the building to have burned to the ground by then. Bournefre
  • Score: 1

11:24pm Fri 16 May 14

rozmister says...

trishatburnham@hotma
il.co.uk
wrote:
I think its disgusting that the students didn't hear the fire alarms what planet do they live on whatever country you go to a fire alarm when it goes off is recogniseable I thought they suppose to have brains they could have put the firefighters in danger it was lucky there wasn't any fatalities and whoever caused the fire by drying clothes near a heater needs to be procecuted
It doesn't mention fire alarms in the article. Do you know more than is printed or has it been edited/updated to remove content about alarms?
[quote][p][bold]trishatburnham@hotma il.co.uk[/bold] wrote: I think its disgusting that the students didn't hear the fire alarms what planet do they live on whatever country you go to a fire alarm when it goes off is recogniseable I thought they suppose to have brains they could have put the firefighters in danger it was lucky there wasn't any fatalities and whoever caused the fire by drying clothes near a heater needs to be procecuted[/p][/quote]It doesn't mention fire alarms in the article. Do you know more than is printed or has it been edited/updated to remove content about alarms? rozmister
  • Score: -1

12:49am Sat 17 May 14

Wageslave says...

And of course not one penny in Council Tax will have been collected towards paying for these services as it is student accomodation.
And of course not one penny in Council Tax will have been collected towards paying for these services as it is student accomodation. Wageslave
  • Score: 0

8:49am Sat 17 May 14

KLH says...

So, because the story doesn't mention alarms they have nothing to do with it all, right? Were there not any then? Are we not supposed to assume that a fire in a large block of flats doesn't involve alarms at any point.

Even if alarms were not mentioned in the article there would have been/should have been an alarm system. Living in blocks of flats, especially rented they have to have a fire alarm system, part of the fire regulations. Having lived in flats myself, I am only too aware of fire alarm requirements.

But because nothing is mentioned about alarms in the article - crikey, get real, guys!!
So, because the story doesn't mention alarms they have nothing to do with it all, right? Were there not any then? Are we not supposed to assume that a fire in a large block of flats doesn't involve alarms at any point. Even if alarms were not mentioned in the article there would have been/should have been an alarm system. Living in blocks of flats, especially rented they have to have a fire alarm system, part of the fire regulations. Having lived in flats myself, I am only too aware of fire alarm requirements. But because nothing is mentioned about alarms in the article - crikey, get real, guys!! KLH
  • Score: 0

11:53am Sat 17 May 14

SympatheticSam says...

All because students can't cook cheese on toast.
All because students can't cook cheese on toast. SympatheticSam
  • Score: 0

9:34pm Sat 17 May 14

Bournefre says...

Yes there should be alarms, but the accounts from the article such as
"the first I heard of it was there were firemen knocking on the door"
"he heard a ‘fire noise’ earlier that morning but had fallen asleep again"
"woken by the smell of smoke"
"I dismissed it at first as it is such a noisy building, I thought it was someone banging around upstairs”
don't mention any, in fact they suggest the residents were all alerted to the fire by other means.
Yes there should be alarms, but the accounts from the article such as "the first I heard of it was there were firemen knocking on the door" "he heard a ‘fire noise’ earlier that morning but had fallen asleep again" "woken by the smell of smoke" "I dismissed it at first as it is such a noisy building, I thought it was someone banging around upstairs” don't mention any, in fact they suggest the residents were all alerted to the fire by other means. Bournefre
  • Score: 0

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