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Heroes praised for Chard flat fire rescue
BRAVE members of the community have been praised for helping to save lives following a dramatic late-night fire at a block of flats.
More than a dozen people raced out of their homes to help evacuate a flat in Ernest Ashman Place in Chard after a huge blaze broke out.
Three people inside the flat escaped unharmed, including a woman who climbed down a ladder provided by quick-thinking builder Harry Pym.
Eyewitness Anton Gray, 19, of Furze Hill, who was walking home with his girlfriend Faye Brown, said the size and intensity of the fire had been ‘scary’.
He said: “There was a big bang as the windows blew out and flames were everywhere. I thought about going in but with the smoke I couldn’t see anything.
“It was scary, particularly with the older people trapped inside there.”
Mr Gray described the scene as a ‘tower of flames’ and said there was a strong smell of burning plastic.
An investigation has begun to find out what caused the fire, which broke out at 2am on Saturday and raged for two hours.
Another eyewitness, Robert Guppy, contacted the News to offer his thanks to the neighbours who came to the aid of the people inside the flats and spread word of the fire along Furnham Road by shouting warnings.
Mr Guppy reserved special praise for Mr Pym, who supplied a long extension ladder to help rescue a woman, along with a female police officer who smashed a window with a wooden speaker to allow the woman to escape.
The three people who were rescued from the flat fire have now been placed in temporary accommodation.