London

Man on arson charge over fire at Croydon flats

Emergency services at the scene of the fire
Image caption Sixteen people were rescued from the complex

A man has been accused of starting a fire at sheltered accommodation flats for elderly people in south London.

Guinness Court in Leafy Way, Croydon, was evacuated when a blaze broke out on Tuesday morning, and seven people were taken to hospital for treatment.

Timothy Bixley, 38, of no fixed address, has been charged with arson to endanger life.

He faces a further three arson charges in relation to other fires dealt with in the area at about the same time.

Skip fire

Some 40 firefighters tackled the fire at Guinness Court for hours after the blaze was reported at about 01:00 BST.

In total, 16 people were rescued and seven of the 26 flats were damaged.

A woman, 72, who was among those taken to hospital remains in a serious condition after breathing in smoke.

The same day police were called to reports of a wheelie bin and a vehicle on fire in Clyde Road at 00:43 BST, and at 01:38 they were alerted to two skips burning in Lansdown Road.

Mr Bixley is due to appear at Croydon Magistrates' Court on Friday.

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