Firefighters have confirmed the blaze on the top floor flat of a tower block in Barton Hill this morning was started deliberately – and police have arrested a man on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.
The blaze broke out at around 6am this morning, Thursday, October 20, and at its height, ten fire crews from across the city were tasked with putting it out, as all the residents of the tower block were evacuated to a nearby community centre and church.
All day, a major emergency services operation has been in place, with council officers working with residents to help their welfare, care and accommodation needs. Six people were injured in the fire but luckily no one was killed.
Updates: Fire at Eccleston House in Barton Hill extinguished after residents evacuated
A statement from Avon and Somerset police has confirmed the findings of an initial inquiry into the cause of the blaze by fire investigation teams from Avon Fire and Rescue Service, and the blaze is being treated as arson. A spokesperson from the police said: “A man has been arrested and is in police custody following a fire which led to people being evacuated from a block of flats in Bristol today, Thursday 20 October. Avon Fire & Rescue Service have confirmed the fire was started deliberately. This afternoon a man was arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.
“Enquiries continue. Anyone with information which could help the police investigation is asked to call 101 and give the reference 5222252558,” he added. “Emergency services were called to Eccleston House, Aiken Street, just after 6am. We’re grateful to the community for their support for the displaced residents, with rest centres at Tawfiq Masjid and Centre and St Patrick’s Catholic Church. Bristol City Council-led teams are working to help residents with welfare, care and accommodation needs,” he said.
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.”
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.
Keep up to date with the incident here.
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