Over 100 evacuated from sheltered housing block

Around 118 people were forced to evacuate when a fire broke out at a Hertfordshire sheltered housing block for elderly people.

Firefighters attended the Wormley Court block of warden-controlled flats in Broxbourne just before 4.00pm on Thursday 19 November and had to rescue 20 people from the building. At the height of the blaze, 12 appliances were in attendance and firefighters used six jets and an aerial ladder to tackle the fire. Two people were taken to hospital as a precaution against smoke inhalation.

The fire was under control after an hour and extinguished at around 10.15pm.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Mark Yates, who was in charge of the incident, said: “Our priority was to get all of the residents out safely and we are very pleased that no one was injured.

“The immediate actions of the first crews to arrive at the scene meant that we were able to contain the fire quickly, which saved the majority of the building.

“The firefighters, who were wearing breathing apparatus, worked in a very hot, restrictive environment but they did a tremendous job in some of the worst conditions a firefighter can face. A team of fire investigators is currently at the scene working alongside the Police to establish the cause of the fire.”

Hertfordshire County Council Adult Care Services are working with Broxbourne Borough Council and Broxbourne Housing Association to make arrangements to re-house those affected.