A PENSIONER was taken to hospital after a dramatic rescue from a burning Chatburn flat.
The man, named locally as Chris, was carried out of his ground floor Quarry Farm Court flat on a stretcher, with one witness describing him as ‘black’ from the smoke.
The 69-year-old was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital, where he remained on the high dependency ward yesterday.
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Another man was helped from the upstairs flat because he had mobility problems, a fire service spokesman said.
Neighbour Janitta McCally said she called 999 after hearing an alarm sound at 9.10pm on Wednesday.
She said: “I saw smoke pouring out the back window so I called 999.
“I came out the front and two of his neighbours were already out. We opened the door to the flat but couldn’t see anybody.”
The 25-year-old care home supervisor said the man was slow on his feet and in bad health generally.
She added: “He came out on a stretcher and he was black. With the amount of smoke and the amount of time he was in there, I did not think he stood a chance.”
The road was closed following the fire as investigators looked into its cause.
Blue lights pierced the thick fog as officers stood guard in the quiet street, keeping passers-by at bay.
Police tape stretched across the doorway yesterday, with the smell of smoke was still noticeable from the street.
The windows of the flat were blackened by smoke, and blinds hanging on the inside showed signs of fire damage.
A fire service spokesman said: “The fire was out by 9.45pm. It had severely damaged one room and caused moderate smoke damage to five others. We are keeping an open mind.”
The flat had a Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service-fitted smoke alarm. This had activated, the spokesman said.
Firefighters in Lancashire carry out free home fire safety checks, and will provide and install free smoke alarms, give life-saving advice, plan a fire escape plan, and help identify fire hazards at home.