Building fire - Westood - Peterborough

Crews from Dogsthorpe, Stanground and Thorney were called to a building fire in Tansor Garth, Westwood, Peterborough.

Residents in a block of flats had smoke coming in to their properties and could not safely leave the two-storey building.

Combined Fire Control firefighters spoke to three separate households on the telephone who called 999 and gave them lifesaving advice until fire crews arrived and safely rescued the residents.

In total eight people - seven adults, one of which was in a wheelchair, and a young baby - were rescued by firefighters from four different flats. The building houses five flats in total - three upstairs and two on the ground floor - and one of the flats was unoccupied. One casualty was taken to hospital by ambulance as a precaution to be treated for minor smoke inhalation.

Station Commander Lynn Betteridge, incident commander, said: "The fire had started in a communal area on the ground floor and was contained to the area. It was extinguished by two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus with a hose reel.

"The fire in the communal area caused a very large amount of smoke, which affected all the flats, making it impossible for the residents to safely escape.

"Our combined fire control firefighters and frontline crews have done an incredible job this morning of giving these residents, some of whom were understandably very scared and anxious, life-saving advice enabling us to safely rescue them, resulting in a safe outcome."

The incident was dealt with by 7.55am.

Investigations with police are underway and the fire is believed to have been started deliberately.

An 18-year-old man and a 22-year-old man, both from Peterborough, have been arrested on suspicion of arson.

Police are keen to hear from anyone with information about the incident. Please contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.