Springfield Road Fire Photos: Blackpool man recounts the moment he rushed into the burning building before fire engines arrived

A man from Blackpool has told of the moment he ran into a burning building on Springfield Road before fire fighters arrived.

Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 3:43 pm
The smoke-blackened windows of the room where the fire broke out.

Jack Hewitt, 68, of Whitegate Drive in Blackpool, says he was sat in his van outside the Somerville House hotel, at around 8:20am this morning, when he noticed the fire.

"There was a seagull on my bonnet," he says, "and when I looked up to shoo it away, I saw smoke billowing out the window."

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The smoke-blackened windows of the room where the fire broke out.

The electrician reacted immediately, and ran into Somerville House to help.

"I put the first door through with my shoulder," Jack says, " and I opened the second door with a hammer from my van."

But on the stairs, he was confronted by a wall of smoke.

"As soon as I got to the landing I saw the smoke. It was that thick that I couldn't see my arm in front of my face."

Firefighters are still investigating the cause of the fire.

Thankfully, the fire brigade arrived at that moment.

"I heard a woman's voice downstairs saying 'they're here, they're here', so I went back outside and they rushed in."

After around five minutes, Jack says the firemen carried out a victim.

"He was only a small guy, I thought he was a kid at first, but he was an adult.

The fire broke out at the Somerville House hotel.

"He was unconscious."

A fireman at the scene confirmed what Jack had done, but said "we don't recommend members of the public doing that really.

"But once he heard sirens he did the right thing - instead of going in further and potentially making himself another casualty."

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said that a joint investigation into the cause of the fire was being carried out by the fire service and police.

Police closed off the road.

Arson had not been ruled out, though the fire is currently thought to have been started accidentally.