United Kingdom

Large blaze at apts in Reading, UK, kills 1, others remain unaccounted for

17:18, 15 December 2021
Large blaze at apts in Reading, UK, kills 1, others remain unaccounted for Photo: 54.mchs.gov.ru

Loudly sounding sirens and a convoy of dozens of emergency vehicles woke up the whole residential area in Reading, UK, overnight as the firefighters received an urgent call reporting a large blaze happened at around 03:00 GMT in Rowe Court.

Firefighters were summoned to the scene where the four-storey building was captured by the fire and following the incident the officials confirmed one death and several people missing in the burning building of blocks of flats.

The roads leading to the scene were cordoned off and drivers were advised to choose another route.

Thames Valley Police have reported that three people were admitted to hospital with non-life threatening injuries and eight others were provided with medical help at the scene. The overall number of evacuated from the burning building residents hasn’t been provided yet.

Local police have arrested a man aged 31 who was suspected in arson, he is in custody at the moment. Despite that the officials ruled out the terrorism related motive.

The authorities set up a special phone line for relatives and friends of those who suffered in the blaze.

Mags Cadger, the resident who lives in a close vicinity to the scene said she was woken up by the sounds of shattering glasses.

“We heard breaking glass so we looked out, we saw firemen up a ladder breaking the windows of one of the flats and then it must have been about 10 to 15 minutes after that we started seeing the flames coming out of the roof,” the witness said.

Another resident Elizabeth Dylewska shared her awakening moments that were caused by the sounds of a helicopter circling around the area.

“We couldn’t sleep because it was very noisy and we knew something was going on. It was very sad, especially at Christmas,” she said.

Earlier, hundreds of people, around 300, were stranded on the roof of the 39-story World Trade Centre in Hong Kong due to the fire in the building which cut off escape routes thus posing a serious threat to their lives.