Blaze Closes Surrey Elderly Homes Unit

A sheltered housing complex for elderly people remains closed after more than 30 residents were led to safety from the premises when fire broke out.

The blaze was in a top-floor flat at the three-storey Allingham Court, in Summers Road, Farncombe, Surrey.

Fire crews used ladders to rescue two people from the upper floors while one other person was led to safety.

Two women, aged 92 and 83, were taken to hospital. The other residents are with family or in temporary housing.

The 92-year-old was treated for a minor burn to the head and the effects of breathing in smoke.

The second woman suffered from minor smoke inhalation.

About 40 firefighters attended the blaze when it was reported at about 1800 BST on Tuesday.

Simon Moore, area manager for Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The first crews found a very serious fire in a second-floor flat and a small part of the roof.

“They were also confronted with a number of persons still within the building, and they carried out two rescues using ladders and one person was led to safety.”

Tom Martin, chief executive of the housing company, Grange Management, said the Allingham Court manager had acted bravely by helping several people out of the building.

The housing scheme comprises 46 flats and three bungalows.

Of the residents, only 12 needed assistance in finding temporary accommodation for Tuesday night.

Some were taken to other premises owned by Grange Management, while the remainder were put up by Waverley Borough Council.

The council’s chief executive, Mary Orton, said: “We have started to work with the housing association and social services to ensure that those evacuated have alternative accommodation, care and support for as long as it is required until they can return to their homes.”

An investigation into the blaze is under way but it is too early to say what the cause was, and it is not yet known when residents will be allowed back.