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Neighbours pay tribute to lady killed in Forest Gate flat fire

PUBLISHED: 15:15 25 March 2015 | UPDATED: 09:42 01 April 2015

A woman has died following a fire in Shrewsbury Avenue in Forest Gate

A woman has died following a fire in Shrewsbury Avenue in Forest Gate

Archant

Neighbours have paid tribute to a woman who died in a flat fire in Forest Gate last night.

A woman was killed in a flat fire in Forest GateA woman was killed in a flat fire in Forest Gate

Emergency services were called to a fire at a house converted into two flats on Shrewsbury Road at around 11.30pm last night.

Firefighters smashed through the window but the woman, who has locally been named as Cheryl, was pronounced dead at the scene,

Shocked residents have paid tribute to their neighbour who lived alone in the first floor flat.

Elena Brihan, 33, had to be evacuated from her home with her baby and husband.

She said: “She was a very polite and lovely lady. My husband helped her a few times with her hedges in the front garden.

“The whole thing is really sad. We heard an explosion and a big bang. The lady herself called the fire brigade but she couldn’t get out because she was trapped.

“They broke through the back window but by that point it was too late. She was such a nice lady.”

Lawrence Washington, who also lives nearby, said: “She was very fit and healthy. I only saw her on Monday with her shopping bags. I would see her return from work and in the mornings.

“Everyone has to die but nobody deserves to go like that. As soon as the police told me this morning that a body had been found. I knew it was her.”

Crews also rescued a woman and a baby from the ground floor flat. They were taken to hospital by London Ambulance suffering smoke inhalation.

The fire mainly affected the first floor flat, most of which was destroyed but a small area of the ground floor entrance hall and part of the staircase from the ground to the first floor were also damaged.

Residents in neighbouring properties were temporarily evacuated due to heavy smoke logging,

Elena added: “We were out until about 3am last night. It was horrible and very scary. I hope the baby and mother who were taken to hospital are doing better.”

The blaze was brought under control by about 12.30am. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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