A WOMAN has died and a man has been severely injured following a fire at their flat this morning.
Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service was called to Thorley Court, in Hayward Close, Abbey Meads, at 1.39am where a third floor flat was well alight.
Three fire engines attended – two from Stratton and one from Swindon – together with an emergency support unit from Swindon.
Crews in breathing apparatus forced their way into the premises and rescued one person, while another was found dead.
A 32-year-old woman was brought out of the flat by firefighters and was treated by paramedics at the scene but She was pronounced dead at 2.12am.
Her next of kin have been informed but no await formal identification has yet been made.
A 25-year-old man from the same flat was taken by helicopter to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol suffering from burns and the effects of smoke inhalation. He remains in hospital in a critical condition.
One eyewitness, Tina Mottram, of nearby Wynwards Road, said she woke to the sounds of screaming.
The 46-year-old nurse said: “It was terrifying – we woke up about 1.35am because the dogs were barking and we could hear a man screaming. He was just yelling ‘help, help’.
“My husband and son went out with torches but could not see anything – it was pitch black.
"We heard the firefighters breaking into the flat and then just minutes later they pulled the young woman out.
"They were giving her CPR for about half an hour and did their best to bring her back.
“It’s horrible to think what happened and that she did not make it. It’s such a shock.”
Police officers helped to evacuate other residents from their homes. They are staying with relatives and friends.
Officers forced their way into four flats to check that no one was trapped inside the building.
Crime scene investigators are attending and the building has been cordoned off.
The casualty was flown by air ambulance to Frenchay Hospital, in Bristol, with severe burns.
An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway by Wiltshire FRS and Wiltshire Police.
Police are on the scene and have set up a cordon around the whole block.
They have set up a blue tarpaulin and CSI have erected a forensics tent in the garden.
Further information, including the identity of the deceased, will be released by Wiltshire Police in due course.
The Senior Investigating Officer is Detective Inspector Matt Davey of the Brunel Major Crime Investigation Team.
He said: "It is too early at this stage in the investigation to confirm the cause of the fire but Wiltshire Police are working with Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service to establish the circumstances.
"We would like to appeal to anyone who may have information, or who was in the area of Thorley Court between the hours of 10.30pm on Sunday and 2.30am on Monday to contact Wiltshire Police via 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."