Mother and baby escape flat blaze

Emergency services at the scene
Emergency services at the scene

A MOTHER and her baby escaped a kitchen fire in a block of flats in Eastbourne on Monday night.

The baby and its mother were treated for smoke inhalation by paramedics in Meads Street before being taken to Eastbourne District General Hospital as a precautionary measure.

The mother, her child and a man, thought to be the father, had rushed from their third-floor apartment before fire crews arrived.

A resident who lives in view of the block above Tesco, but did not wish to be named, said, “There were no flames or smoke, there was nothing at all.

“I thought it might have been a training exercise or something.”

The fire started when a food blender had been left on the cooker hob which had been accidentally turned on.

But luckily the woman noticed the melting food processor and called the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) at 4.49pm before smoke alarms sounded.

Two fire engines from Eastbourne sped to the scene and firefighters, using breathing apparatus, entered the building and tackled the blaze with a hose.

An aerial ladder platform was also deployed and firefighters used a thermal imaging camera to check the fire had not spread and there was no heat damage to any other part of the building.

Watch manager for the ESFRS, Fleur Wilks said the five-storey building’s state-of-the-art ventilation system had allowed most of the smoke to clear.

This helped firefighters weave to their way through the complicated network of corridors and find the fire.

The strong fire doors also helped keep the fire under control and residents were told to stay put.

Watch manager Wilks said, “Any fire door has at least 20 to 30 minutes. These were very good fire doors.

“They (residents) were safe inside their properties as it wasn’t a developing fire and was under control.

“The smoke could have caused a problem and the ventilation helped us with that.”

South East Coast Ambulance Service could not say if the mother and her baby were still receiving treatment at the DGH.

Firefighters finished their work at 5.40pm.