Safety warning after fire at flats during the night

Fri 19 Jun, 2015

Firefighters are urging people to be careful when disposing of refuse, recycling and unwanted household goods, such as furniture, following a fire outside a block of flats in Bletchley during the night.

A crew from Bletchley Fire Station was called to Serpentine Court at 1.38am today (Friday 19 June) after a police officer spotted the fire while on patrol. It is believed it had been started deliberately.

Crew Commander Chris Bamford said: “When we turned up we were confronted with a large fire at the access area for the stairs at the front of the flats.

“It started in a big pile of rubbish containing a sofa, mattress and other household items that someone had dumped near to the flats

“The flats are designed so that there are other doors off the staircase that you have to go through before you are near the front doors. However, if the police officer had not seen the fire when he did, we believe some of the residents could have become trapped in their flats.”

The fire damaged the entrance and communal staircase, and three cars were damaged by radiated heat.

Chris added: “We are urging people not to put unwanted items near buildings or cars, and to take care in general when putting out their weekly refuse and recycling.

“Fires which start outside buildings can spread inside those buildings and put people’s lives at risk.”

Some of the damage is pictured above. Chris offered the following fire safety advice:

Do . . .

  • Do store your rubbish in a secure area if possible.
  • Do keep your garage, shed and any other outbuildings locked as well as your home.
  • Do keep all flammable liquids locked away.
  • Do consider installing security lighting outside.
  • Do be alert to strangers loitering in your street.
  • Do call the police if strangers are loitering for some time.
  • Do warn people if a fire breaks out, then get out, stay out and call 999.

Don’t . . .

  • Don’t allow rubbish to block escape routes
  • Don’t store rubbish by doors, windows or any other openings.
  • Don’t store bins or sacks up against your home. 
  • Don’t overfill your bin or leave rubbish around it.
  • Don’t smoke in or around storage areas. 
  • Don’t put bins and sacks out for emptying until the day your refuse and recycling is collected because they can provide fuel for a fire.