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Chingford fire: Resident dies in care home blaze

A resident has died in a fire which broke out at a home for people with learning disabilities.

The huge blaze started in Connington Crescent, Chingford, north-east London, at 02:14 BST and was out by 05:24.

Eight residents and four carers managed to get out of the three-storey building before firefighters arrived.

Iain Duncan Smith, MP for Chingford, said a neighbour called 999 because residents “didn’t know what the number was”.

When the ten fire crews arrived, two floors and the roof of the building were alight, London Fire Brigade (LFB) said.

Paramedics treated the woman, who lived in “supported living flats” at Connington Court, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

At its height, 72 firefighters – from Woodford, Chingford, Walthamstow, Enfield and Leytonstone fire stations – were sent to tackle the blaze.

Richard Janssens, station manager for Chigwell, said care home staff were “desperately trying to evacuate the building”.

Mr Janssens said specialist fire investigators in the building “are working in close liaisons with the police officers to find out what the cause of the blaze is and what the circumstances were which led to this tragic fatality”.

One local resident, who works at another care home, said: “It is a big concern because you do worry about your actual residents more than you do for yourself and try to get them out.

“So it is extremely sad news that someone has actually died.”

The building contains two supported living services, Connington Court and Connington House.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said the two homes, both run by Sequence Care Group, catered for “adults with learning disabilities who may also have autism, complex needs or behaviours that challenge services”.

Sequence Care Group said it was “shocked” by the death of the resident.

A spokesman added: “The safety and well-being of our residents is always our main concern and while we believe that the processes that we have in place to ensure fire safety are robust, in the light of last night’s events we are carrying out further checks across all of our services.

“We are working closely with the emergency services to establish exactly what happened to cause the fire. It would be inappropriate to make any further comment at this stage.”

Connington House was previously inspected by the CQC in December 2017 where it was given a “good” rating. Connington Court currently has the same rating following its last inspection in September 2016.

Original Source: BBC News

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