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Crew evacuate residents from burning building

The quick thinking heroics of a patient transport crew led to more than 20 people, including children, being evacuated safely this afternoon from a burning residential block in Canning Town, east London.

At approximately 2.15pm, a patient transport crew of three ambulance people were en route to a non-emergency call, when they spotted a large amount of smoke billowing from a residential block in Exning Road, E16.

Afonso Kilola, David Pluck and Stuart Heath, who are based out of Becontree Ambulance Station in Dagenham, immediately stopped and called 999 to alert London Fire Brigade. They then entered the building to raise the alarm to residents in the two storey building, consisting of approximately 20 flats. London Fire Brigade attended the scene to manage the fire.

As a result of the crew’s intervention, more than 20 people were safely evacuated without suffering any serious injury. One person was treated at the scene for minor burns, and taken by London Ambulance Service to hospital. Another person was treated for minor injuries at the scene by the emergency ambulance crew who attended. Following the incident, the crew returned to collect the patient for the non-emergency appointment.

Speaking in response to this afternoon’s incident, Afonso Kilola said: “We were in a neighbouring street when we happened to see what appeared to be quite a large amount of smoke billowing from this residential block.  I’m just glad that we were in the vicinity of the building at that time, and able to gain entry to make the residents aware of what was going on. I can speak for myself, David and Stuart when I say that we are so thankful that no one came to any serious harm this afternoon.”

Director of Operations, Jason Killens, said: “I would like to say a big thank you to the guys for their selfless actions and sheer bravery earlier this afternoon. If they hadn’t entered the building and raised the alarm when they did, we could have been faced with a situation much more serious than the one we ended up with. They have really done themselves and London Ambulance Service proud.”


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