Hallway fire in Stratford maisonettes leaves man hospitalised
PUBLISHED: 15:27 06 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:02 09 October 2017
A Stratford man was hospitalised this morning after a lit firework caused a blaze in his block of maisonettes.
Alma Street residents awoke to the sound of loud bangs at around 6am as emergency services rushed into their building.
Two fire engines and 10 firefighters took about half an hour to control the blaze, which new evidence suggests was started by a firework ignited in the hallway.
The hallway and a four-roomed maisonette on the second and third floors were damaged in the incident.
A 35-year-old man was led to safety by firefighters wearing breathing apparatus.
Alma Street house fire
Firefighters in Alma Street (Picture: John Gudgin via iwitness)
The fire broke out in the early hours of Friday, October 6 (Picture: John Gudgin via iwitness)
Residents were woken by the sound of the emergency service forcing access to the first floor flat (Picture: John Gudgin via iwitness)
A London Ambulance Service crew, including their hazardous area response team, treated him at the scene and took him to an east London hospital for smoke inhalation, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said.
Amateur photographer John Gudgin had stayed up late to take pictures of the moon from his flat in neighbouring Simons Walk.
He heard several loud noises from Alma Road while packing up his gear, not knowing firefighters were trying to gain access to the premises.
“I totally ignored that,” the 50-year-old said. “I thought it was people across the road trying to get in the intercom door because no-one’s answering for them.
“Then, about four minutes later, loads of sirens just turned up at once.”
But the scene was calm with two residents chatting outside in their dressing gowns, John added.
“This is a lazy area,” he said. “I’ve never known anything like it; trying to get life out of this place before 10, 11 o’clock in the morning.”
Police are treating the incident as arson with the London Fire Brigade issuing a warning about handling fireworks.
“We’re approaching the time of year where we have to start reminding people about the dangers of playing with fireworks,” a spokeswoman said. “Fortunately, crews were able to stop this particular fire spreading any further and led a man to safety, but it could have had a very different outcome.
“Fireworks are explosive devices and are therefore very dangerous and should be used carefully.
“They can cause severe damage and permanent harm to others.”
Police ask anyone with information to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.