Stoke & Staffordshire

Crewe retirement complex fire was 'accidental'

Fire at retirement homes Image copyright Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Firefighters spent five days at the scene of the blaze

A fire which destroyed a retirement complex was started accidentally, a fire service has said.

One hundred and fifty residents were saved from the Beechmere residential apartments in Crewe when the blaze took hold on 8 August.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) said the source of the fire was on a patio area on the third floor.

What caused the fire to spread so quickly was still under investigation, the service added.

Lee Shears, head of protection at CFRS, said: "Based on the evidence available to us, it is our opinion that the fire was accidental and that the source of the ignition was on a patio/terrace area on the third floor, which then led to the fire spreading internally up the wall structure and into the roof space."

The fire service added the investigation into why the fire spread so quickly could take "many months".

Image copyright Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption The investigation team will continue "to work with agencies to investigate why the fire developed and spread as it did"

Previously, the incident commander at the scene was praised for overriding a "stay put" policy at the premises, which would have required residents to remain in their apartments and be evacuated on a phased basis.

Since the fire, the community rallied round to support residents.

Your Housing Group, which managed the Beechmere complex, said 102 residents had now either been rehoused or had had long-term housing identified and were waiting to move in.


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