Call for alarms after flats fire

Fire at Jubilee Court
Fire at Jubilee Court
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A GRANDFATHER was left fighting for his life after the chair he was sitting in at home caught fire.

Ron Baldwin, aged in his 80s, suffered serious burns during the blaze at his flat in Jubilee Court, off Nowton Road, in Bury St Edmunds.

The pensioner was rescued by firefighters, who were alerted to the incident by a passer-by in the early hours of Sunday, and he is being treated at the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre in Basildon.

Fire investigation officer Steve Rhind said crews broke down the door of the flat and discovered Mr Baldwin unconscious in the armchair.

He added that the blaze was confined to the chair and the cause is being investigated.

Mr Baldwin’s neighbours are now calling for smoke alarms to be fitted in the corridors of each block of the complex as those within their flats did not activate.

Natasha King, 18, who lives above Mr Baldwin, has launched a petition to get the alarms installed.

She said: “It was only when we saw the fire brigade outside that we realised something was going on. It could have been so much worse if someone hadn’t called them as it may have spread and we could have been trapped. They should put three alarms in each block – one for each level.”

Miss King plans to present the petition to Suffolk Housing Society, which owns and manages Jubilee Court.

Society chief executive Ian Winslet said the building complied fully with fire regulations while all flats had fire doors, smoke alarms and an emergency pull chord which is linked to an out of hours service.

He said: “If the fire brigade feel there’s some extra work we should be doing then clearly we’re going to do that and if the residents have a view we are willing to listen to them.”

He added that they were keeping in touch with Mr Baldwin’s family to offer support.