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Neighbour to the rescue as others watch flat burn
10:50am Thursday 31st October 2013 in News
RESIDENTS stood by as a first floor flat burned yesterday in Park South, after a living room blaze.
Neighbour Matt Allen, 25, who works at United Footwear, in Horsham Crescent, was enjoying his day off when he saw smoke pouring from his neighbour’s flat on Whitbourne Avenue.
When he went to investigate he found several people watching the blaze, but nobody had called the fire service.
He said: “I noticed the fire from my back garden and I went around the front and there were 15 people standing around. I asked if anyone had called the fire service, and they said no. So I phoned them.
“Then the little girl who lives there with her mum said there was a cat in there.
“I didn’t know if anyone was in there so I managed to kick in the door to get in to check there wasn’t anyone in there.”
When fire crews arrived they found the flat empty, the lounge alight and a cat suffocating from smoke inhalation.
Two fire engines, one from Drove Road fire station and one from Stratton, attended the scene along with an aerial appliance, and the fire was put out within half an hour.
It is thought that the fire started in the lounge and it did not cause any structural damage to the building.
Watch Manager Andy Edmondson said: “We brought the cat out and gave it oxygen, and it seemed to be recovering quite well.
“Potentially it could have been a very bad fire indeed.”
Most of the room was damaged in the blaze, and the occupants of the flat may have to consider leaving the property.
The investigation into the cause of the fire continues.