Fire crews were moments away from a roof collapsing on them as they searched for potential casualties at a house fire in Two Mile Ash.
Group manager Dave Norris explained how two breathing apparatus crews were deployed to search for people in the fire in Astlethorpe yesterday afternoon.
He said: “The fire was well-established when the first crews arrived. Flames were coming through the upstairs windows, and thick yellow smoke was pulsing out from the entire roofline and from beneath the roof tiles, indicating that the fire had penetrated the ceiling of the bedroom.
“Initially, it was feared that people were inside the house, so two breathing apparatus crews with main jets were committed to search, rescue and fight the fire. They encountered severe and punishing conditions, but managed to knock the fire down in the bedroom and search for casualties.
“At this point, the fire rapidly developed in the roof structure and officers outside the premises noticed signs of collapse. All personnel outside sounded evacuation whistles, and the breathing apparatus crews quickly evacuated to safety.
“The roof did collapse inwards within minutes. The roof fire was tackled using ladders pitched to adjacent buildings employing main jets from height, and a turntable ladder was subsequently used to provide the same effect.”
The all clear was given just after 7pm and firefighters stayed on the scene to salvage property and carry out three re-inspections.