Residents rescued from deliberate flat fire in Rhydyfelin
At approximately 22.21 on Tuesday 16th August, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) responded to an emergency call regarding a fire in a block of flats on Poets Close, Rhydyfelin, Pontypridd. Three fire appliances from Pontypridd and Caerphilly attended, with 15 Firefighters being mobilised to the scene.
The initial call stated that five people were in the property. SWFRS Control Operators provided fire survival guidance and advised them of the best location for rescue. This vital information enabled fire crews to go directly to where the residents were located in a third floor flat window and rescued two casualties using ladders. A second crew successfully extinguished the fire, which was deliberately set at the bottom of a staircase and led the remaining residents to safety.
Group Manager Steve Rossiter said,
“The ‘stay put’ evacuation strategy worked well as the residents who tried to escape were unable to do so because their only means of escape was via the single staircase which was smoked logged. The fire doors within the staircase and the flat entrance fire doors provided critical time for the crews to extinguish the fire, prior to leading the residents to safety.”
SWFRS urges its local communities to ensure any refuse or storing of combustible materials, such as old furniture, are well away from buildings or removed completely. The Service hopes that through residents becoming more aware of the risks, this will help reduce the opportunity of deliberate fires. It is important to remember that fire doors provide protection to properties and can ensure householders are able to escape effectively. SWFRS advices residents to seek guidance from their landlord and the Service before replacing flat entrance doors.
South Wales Fire and Rescue Service are currently working with South Wales Police to find the perpetrators.