Residents terrified after fire breaks out in Gateshead tower block in the early hours

Residents were left terrified after being evacuated in the early hours as a fire broke out in Gateshead tower block. People on the second floor Tennyson Court, in Felling, Gateshead, were rushed from their homes by police and the fire service after a fire started in a neighbouring flat. Steven Chambers, 38, was was woken at 1.30am on Friday by police ordering him to evacuate.

He said: “The first I knew of it was somebody banging on my door, because there were no alarms going off or anything. “The fire brigade arrived soon after, they went straight in, they knew exactly where the fire was and they controlled it quite quickly, although the smoke damage is very bad, the flat where it started is absolutely decimated, it’s destroyed.” Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) say only the second floor of the building had to be evacuated, and that the other floors were not at risk, although some people chose to leave their homes in other parts of the building as a precaution.

No one was hurt in the fire, though Assistant Chief Officer Lynsey McVay said a number of people were checked over by paramedics from the North East Ambulance Service, and found not to need further treatment.

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Steven praised the quick actions of the fire service and police, without whom, he said, “I wouldn’t be here”. Although everyone escaped safely and the blaze was brought under control, the “terrifying” early-hours tower block flight inevitably reminded residents of the Steven said: “They must have had almost every fire truck they could there, it was like a disaster movie.

“It could have been a lot worse, it could have very quickly become another Grenfell Tower. The fire looked like a massive furnace inside the flat – it was terrifying, I was in shock.” Crews from Gateshead Central, Newcastle, Hebburn, Byker, Birtley, Swalwell and Gosforth attended, as well as an incident command unit and three senior officers, TWFRS said. “Firefighters rescued two occupiers from two separate flats, but thankfully neither required hospital treatment,” a spokesperson added.

ACO McVay said the cause of the blaze was not yet clear. An investigation and been launched and TWFRS was “not ruling anything out”, she added. She said: “The fire was contained within the one flat.

The flat affected was on the second floor so we did evacuate that floor for the peace of mind of the residents. Some others decided to evacuate, but some residents on other floors remained inside, where they were perfectly safe.” A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “Shortly before 1.45am today (Friday) we received a report of a fire at a block of flats on Tennyson Court, Gateshead.

“Emergency services attended and residents were temporarily evacuated as the fire was extinguished. Nobody is believed to have been injured. “An investigation has been launched into the cause of the fire.

Anyone with information is asked to contact us via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of our website or by calling 101 quoting log 56 161020.”

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