Search

Flat fire traps pensioners

PUBLISHED: 16:57 31 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:46 11 August 2010

A RAGING fire in the stairwell of a block of flats, trapped two elderly residents, putting them in fear of their lives. Betty Williams, 82, and her husband Alfred, 91, were the only ones on the second floor of the block in Whalebone Lane South, Dagenham

A RAGING fire in the stairwell of a block of flats, trapped two elderly residents, putting them in fear of their lives.

Betty Williams, 82, and her husband Alfred, 91, were the only ones on the second floor of the block in Whalebone Lane South, Dagenham, when passers-by noticed the blaze, and called the Fire Brigade on Monday, March 17.

Mrs Williams told the Post: "If it wasn't for those people, we wouldn't be here talking to you right now.

"It was so quick. I heard someone shouting about the fire.

"There were two girls shouting that there were flames coming through the roof.

"Then I could see smoke going by the window, getting thicker, and a crowd of people outside.

"They told us to shut our windows so we barricaded ourselves in and we were stuck."

The fire broke out at 2.45pm on Monday, March 17.

Mr Williams said: "We are very thankful for the firemen.

"It took them three to four minutes to arrive here, and they dealt with it very efficiently; they had the flames out in no time.

"And we would also like to thank the people outside who helped."

Fortunately, the elderly couple did not need any medical treatment following their ordeal.

Fire officers have now fitted the building with a new alarm, and council contractors were called in to wash the soot from the walls along the staircase.

Mrs Williams said: "It wasn't until it was all over that the shock hit me.

"At one time I thought that we would never get out."

Cause of the blaze is unknown, and is being investigated.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Barking and Dagenham Post