Fire in fifth floor flat
Following the initial alert at around 1.20pm, firefighters arrived at the Severn House flats to find smoke issuing from two sides of the building, and the possibility that a male might be trapped in a flat on the fifth floor. They therefore put in a request for extra assistance, and further crews from Worcester and Malvern plus the Aerial Ladder Platform (ALP) from Worcester joined them at the scene.
Following procedures for tackling fires in high rise buildings, crews then secured the lifts and deployed two firefighters in breathing apparatus to the fourth floor where they set up a control and resource point. With support from other firefighters in breathing apparatus, they advanced to the fifth floor and forced entry into the flat, where they found a fire in the living room and the smoke level in the flat down to around two feet. With the use of two jets, the fire was quickly extinguished and firefighters then conducted a thorough search of all five rooms in the flat, confirming that there was no one inside it. Adjoining properties were also searched using information provided by the police.
It was then confirmed that the occupier had been located safe and well elsewhere in the building, and so ambulance crews, who were on standby at the scene in case of casualties, were stood down.
Watch Commander Keith Peters from Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) explained: "We have specialist procedures in place for tackling fires in high rise buildings and the operation progressed smoothly, thanks to the training we receive and the co-operation we had from the residents of Severn House during the incident.
"The activation of the fire alarm meant that we were able to catch the fire in its early stages, preventing any spread to surrounding flats."
Confirming there were no injuries as a result of this fire, he added: "This type of incident highlights just how important it is to have a working smoke alarm in the home, and I'd urge everyone to check their own alarms are in working order as they really can save lives."
He explained that there was some disruption in the area during the incident as firefighters positioned the ALP across Tybridge Street to use as a safety platform, and he thanked the local community for their patience, particularly those whose cars were blocked in as a result of this.
Fire crews worked with Worcester Community Housing to ensure the flat was safe for the occupier to return to following the incident, and they also distributed leaflets with fire safety advice to surrounding flats.