Elderly couple lose everything as fire rips though flat in Chippenham (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Elderly couple lose everything as fire rips though flat in Chippenham
Fire ripped through a flat in Hungerdown Lane, Chippenham, in “no time at all”, say neighbours who witnessed the blaze today.
Up to four people may have been affected by the fire, with the elderly couple living in the flat losing everything to the flames, and the flat below suffering extensive water damage.
Firefighters were unable to enter the building as it was so dangerous almost three hours later, and a team from the British Red Cross were preparing to show the couple the extent of the damage in the flat.
Sue Maslen, who lives nearby, said she had left for the school run, and returned to see the top-floor flat ablaze.
“It’s been going since 2.50pm or so,” she said.
“There were billows of smoke coming out from the rafters and tiles of the roof. I went to pick up my daughters, and it was all normal, and when I came back there was smoke everywhere. I ran to close the windows because my youngest has asthma.”
Her ten-year-old daughter Angel said: “There was so much smoke everywhere, you couldn’t see much.”
Although four ambulances attended the scene, it was thought no one was injured in the blaze, and the owners of the flat were out at the time.
Cheryl Fortune, of Southmead, said she had asked the woman who lived in the flat if she could have left anything on that might have caused the fire, but she had said no.
“I was coming off the bus, and I could see the smoke from Redland,” she said.
“There was so much smoke. It’s absolutely terrible. I asked the lady if she had anything on, like a chip-pan, or the gas, but she said nothing was on - it’s all electric.”
A spokesperson for the fire service said: “The service was called to a fire in a flat in Hungerdown Lane, near the junction with Southmead, at 2.53pm today (26 March).
“The roof and first floor of the building are affected, and part of the roof has collapsed. Five crews – two from Chippenham, and one each from Corsham, Calne and Melksham – are fighting the fire, supported by an aerial appliance from Bath and an incident command vehicle from Stratton.
"The British Red Cross fire and emergency support service is also in attendance. An investigation into the cause of the blaze will start in due course.”