High rise fire in Beckett Court in Bedford

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Last night (Thursday) Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service attended a fire at Beckett Court in Roise Street - a twelve storey building containing 68 flats.

There was one casualty, an adult female, who suffered from smoke inhalation.

Four fire engines were sent to the scene. When they arrived they saw smoke coming from the top floor of the building.

Following standard procedures they then called for the Service’s Aerial Platform from Bedford Community Fire Station.

The fire was in the ground floor bin room of the building and extinguished just after 9pm.

The fire had caused smoke to rise through the refuse chutes into the building above and subsequently smoke logged floors six to eleven.

A female casualty from the top floor of the building was taken into the care of the ambulance service.

Once the fire was extinguished Firefighters searched the building to check there were no other sites of fire and used positive pressure ventilation to clear the smoke from the building.

Group commander Andy Draper said: “We were able to get the fire in the bin room under control quickly but smoke did travel around the building which we then cleared. This incident shows the importance of our ‘stay put’ message. Residential apartments are the safest place to be if the fire is not directly on the residents’ floor.

“Leaving your flat puts you at risk from smoke and fumes that we wear breathing apparatus to protect ourselves from. In addition it also allows the emergency service clear access route around the building.

“So our message remains, in high rise incidents people should stay put in their flats unless told to leave by the emergency services.”