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Witness appeal after Salisbury fire

Date: 26th July, 2021

Residents of a sheltered housing complex in Salisbury had to be rescued by firefighters last night (25 July) after fire broke out in a communal area.

Fire crews from Salisbury (x2), Amesbury and Fordingbridge were sent to Tintern Court, in Blackfriars Way, at 10pm after Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Fire Control received multiple 999 calls. On arrival, they found a well-developed fire in a stairwell, which was spreading to the first floor of the two-storey block of flats.

An off-duty on-call firefighter from Salisbury had already helped one resident to safety when the first crew reached the scene. Three more people were then brought to safety, one by ladder, and one with the use of a fire escape hood, which protects the wearer when moving through smoke.

Four breathing apparatus wearers used two hose reel jets to extinguish the fire, which badly damaged the communal area and stairwell, and caused smoke damage in three flats.

Firefighters remained on scene until the early hours of this morning, ensuring that the scene was safe – the stop message was made at 12.16am and the last crew left shortly after 1am.

Group Manager Tim Gray said: “Crews worked incredibly hard to contain this fire and prevent it spreading to the roof and into the adjacent flats. In addition, having no casualties other than one resident taken to hospital for precautionary checks is a great relief, given how this incident could have developed, and this was in no small part down to the use of a fire escape hood. Our fire investigator is now working with Wiltshire Police, as the fire could have been started deliberately, and we would urge anyone with information about what happened to get in touch.”

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call Wiltshire Police on 101 quoting log 54210072223. To report anonymously, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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