Blaze pensioner fighting for life

The property in North Albert Street
The property in North Albert Street

A Fleetwood pensioner is fighting for his life after a blaze tore through his home.

Neighbours were evacuated to Fleetwood Police Station until the early hours of the morning while firefighters tackled the North Albert Street blaze.

Fire crews were called to the pensioner’s end-terrace property shortly after 2.30am on Tuesday morning.

Neighbours told how they were driven to Fleetwood Police Station until their homes were deemed safe after 5am.

Fire fighters had to force entry into the property to rescue the man, in his 70s, who they said was only semi-conscious and had suffered severe burns as well as the effects of smoke inhalation.

There is not yet any indication as to how the fire started.

Neighbours, who named the pensioner as Bill, said they were all hoping he would pull through after the terrifying ordeal.

He was taken to Royal Preston Hospital.

Next door neighbour Kate Bird, who is pregnant, was woken at around 2.30am by the fire alarm sounding from the man’s house.

She said: “At first I didn’t think anything about why the alarm was going off, but them I smelt smoke.

“I looked out of the window and noticed it was coming from the house next door.

“I phoned the fire brigade and after they arrived I saw him being carried out on a stretcher.”

She added: “I only know him by his first name, Bill, but I say hello and we exchange Christmas cards.

“We just hope he’s all right.”

Pensioner Marion Hartley, 85, who lives next door-but-one, added: “The police and firemen came and told us we would have to leave our houses, just to be sure there was no danger.

“It was a bit frightening, because you don’t want your house to blow up.

“We were there at the station until after five o’clock in the morning.

“I don’t know Bill very well but he always speaks when he sees me.

“It is a bit of a shock.

“I’m hoping he isn’t too seriously hurt.”

Coun Lorraine Beavers, of Pharos ward, said: “It’s a good job the neighbours were alert.

“Fleetwood is a large town with a village mentality and it’s good we still have community spirit here.

“Let’s home this poor man will be alright.”

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “A man in his 70s was rescued from inside and has serious burns.

“We are now satisfied this was an accident and there are no suspicious circumstances.”

Three engines, from Fleetwood and Bispham fire stations, battled the blaze until around 6am, which ripped through the ground floor of the home.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is continuing.

At teatime last night, the burns victim remained in a critical condition.