Wolverhampton flats evacuated after electrical fire
A block of flats in Wolverhampton was evacuated after a fire in the building's electrical box.
The blaze started shortly before 6am on Saturday in a housing association building off Bromwynd Close in the Blakenhall area of the city.
Residents in the affected block were evacuated as firefighters from Wolverhampton and Bilston stations worked to extinguish the flames as smoke filled the corridor.
Paramedics were called and treated some people for smoke inhalation but nobody is believed to have been seriously injured.
A woman, who was staying with her daughter in one of the flats when the fire started, described how she opened the door to a sheet of black smoke.
"I said I could smell smoke about 5am but my daughter said it was nothing," the woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said.
"I opened the door and there was black smoke everywhere. A gentleman started shouting 'fire!'.
"Thank God we all got out."
Bromford Housing is organising temporary hotel accommodation for people currently unable to return to their homes, with electricity still unavailable in some flats.
Neighbouring buildings were also without power until mid-morning, with Western Power Distribution called to the scene to isolate the power supply.
Theresa Pankhurst, who lives in the block of flats next door, made coffees for the people affected once her power was restored at around 10.30am.
She said: "Everybody was woken up there was smoke everywhere. All the tenants were evacuated.
"All the residents in my block just came out to see what was going on.
"The ambulance service was here, there were a few people who had smoke inhalation.
"The people from Bromford Housing Association and from the power company were here.
"Bromford had taken the residents down to the office and they were going to check them into a hotel for 2pm.
"It's mainly smoke damage, it was quite scary for the ones that were in there. But they're all out and everybody is safe."
Firefighters started investigating the cause of the blaze before leaving the scene at around 11am, with tape still in place in front of the flats on Saturday afternoon.
A West Midlands Fire Service spokesman said they were called at 5.56am to reports of a severe fire in the electrical intake cupboard in a low-rise residential block and that everybody was accounted for.
Sherideane Gray, whose mother lives in the flats, said she was evacuated at around 6am this morning
She said: "My mother called me at 6am to tell me they had been evacuated because the main electrical box in the building had caught fire.
"The firefighters got the fire under control but the power supply has had to be cut off to block of flats.
"The residents are still outside the flats at 11am, apparently they have sorted them out hotel accommodation but they can't check in until 2pm.
"They have been allowed back in to the flats briefly to get a few belongings.
"My mother's flat is right above the electric box. Another neighbour alerted her to what was going on so she was quite lucky really."
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