Flat block blaze arson suspicion

First published in Didcot

A FIRE which caused dozens of people to flee their homes could have been an arson attack, police said last night.

Emergency crews were called to a block of flats in Venners Water, Didcot, shortly after 5am on Good Friday.

About 50 firefighters battled the blaze and worked to rescue residents from their homes, kicking down doors and carrying people to safety.

Paramedics also treated a number of casualties at the scene for smoke inhalation, before taking two people to hospital.

Last night, police inspector Mike Webber-Gant said: “Our investigations are still ongoing but the cause of the fire is being regarded as potentially suspicious.

“I believe this will be a long process as there are a number of people from the flats to interview.”

About 40 people live in the block. Most of them are now staying in a nearby hotel, whilst others have opted to stay with family.

Resident Leah Brook, 19, was rescued with her one-year-old daughter Mya, by their neighbour Matty Schembri.

She said: “He saved our lives. We wouldn’t have woken up otherwise, as I never heard the fire alarm go off.

“No one can go back to their flats at the moment as there is no roof.”

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