Resident burnt in fire in block of flats

Uncollected rubbish is a fire hazard, say residents

A council in Wales has said it will investigate the fire which started last Monday night in a block of flats in Bangor, while neighbours say they fear another blaze.

56-year-old woman was left with severe burns this week when her clothes set alight when a fire broke out in her bedroom on the ground floor.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service attended the scene, reporting severe fire damage to the flat. About 20 of the residents were evacuated from the flats on Monday, and the building’s boarded up windows and blackened walls show the extent of the blaze.

The woman concerned sought help from her neighbours, and had to be doused with water. A 25-year-old woman was treated after she inhaled smoke in the blaze, while the 56-year-old woman was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital.

Rubbish a fire hazard

One resident said “It makes you realise how vulnerable you are living on the higher floors. We were lucky this time,” (BBC News, 2009). He also described the experience of getting out of the building amid choking smoke as “frightening… we were shouting at each other to get out,” (BBC News, 2009).

Now residents are angry because they feel that uncollected rubbish on the higher floors poses a fire hazard. Though there are rubbish chutes for everyday refuse, larger items which don’t fit are then left in hallways until the council collects them, which residents reported can take months. “They don’t come until you can’t open the door,” said one neighbour (BBC News, 2009).

Full investigation

“The rubbish piles up and a fire could easily start,” said another resident of the flats (BBC News, 2009). While thankfully the fire alarms in the block of flats worked effectively and all residents were evacuated, the exact cause of the fire is not known. Gwynedd Council are investigating the exact circumstances of the blaze, which is thought to have begun by accident.

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