Six people have been injured with either burns or smoke inhalation, three of which have been transferred to hospital, following a tower block fire in Barton Hill. Around 40 residents of Eccleston House have been moved to an emergency evacuation centre at St Patrick’s Catholic Church, as well as a community-led one at the Tawfiq Masjid and Centre.
Avon Fire and Rescue was alerted to the fire at 6.08am after a fire broke out on the first floor of the flat which contains 74 homes. Checks are ongoing to ensure the structure of the tower block is safe for people to return to their homes.
Eccleston House is maintained by Bristol City Council and was built in the 1960s. Last month, a fire also devastated Twinnell House, in Easton, resulting in the death of father-of-seven, Abdul Jabar Oryakhel.
Council-led teams are working to help residents with food, clothing, access to medicines and other welfare and care needs. It is likely that some residents will be housed in temporary accommodation this evening.
Emergency services and housing officers remain at the scene. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time and a full investigation into the fire is being carried out.
Dave Hodges, Avon Fire & Rescue Service Area Manager said: “Our Control Team received several calls just after 6am this morning to reports of a fire at Eccleston House, on Aiken Street in Bristol.
“On arrival crews were faced with a fire on the first floor of the building which had spread to scaffolding on the outside of the building. We deployed crews wearing breathing apparatus to tackle the fire and assist residents.
“The decision was taken to evacuate the residents from the building, while crews carried out a full search of the building and to account for all persons.
“The fire has now been extinguished and fire crews remain in attendance to make the scene safe. We are working with our partner agencies to support the local community during this time.”
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “I would like to thank everyone in the community who responded so swiftly to help out this morning. This includes the brave efforts of our emergency services as well as council officers who provided front line support.
“In particular, I would also like to personally thank the local mosque and church who have helped us out generously during and after the evacuation.
“Many people will feel affected by recent events, including the fire at nearby Twinnell House, and I would encourage residents to seek support from the council’s housing and welfare teams who will continue checking in on everyone in the coming hours and days.
“It is completely understandable that high-rise residents across the city may feel upset and worried. We will be doing all we can to support them and will also be reminding all high-rise tenants in our city of the fire safety advice specific to their blocks.”