Residents evacuated after explosion

FIREFIGHTERS helped evacuate 20 residents were safely from flats at a sheltered housing complex in south Essex.One woman escaped unhurt following a fire and explosion in the kitchen of her flat at Great Wakering, near Shoeburyness.

FIREFIGHTERS helped evacuate 20 residents were safely from flats at a sheltered housing complex in south Essex.

One woman escaped unhurt following a fire and explosion in the kitchen of her flat at Great Wakering, near Shoeburyness.

Assistant Divisional Officer Neil Fenwick incident commander said: "There had been a electrical blackout in the Shoeburyness and Great Wakering area tonight, so many residents were using other forms of power.

"The resident was using a color gas portable camping light which accidently got pierced and caught fire.

“The lady ran out to the communal hallway to get a fire extinguisher, while she was out in the halllway the gas light exploded in her flat.

“The lady who is in her eighties is extremely lucky to have escaped unhurt.

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"This incident serves as a reminder to take extra care when using candles and other forms of lighting when we experience blackouts and powercuts."

The flat on the first floor of the two storey building suffered damage to the roof, ceiling and the window in the kitchen had bowed. A structural engineer was called in to assess the damage caused by the explosion.

The woman was left in the care of the Ambulance Service.

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