Resident Dies In Care Home Blaze

Care Home Fire

08.07.2008

An investigation has been launched after a care home resident died in a fire in Kent which took 45 firefighters more than an hour to bring under control.

Police said 25 people had to be led to safety after the fire broke out on the first floor of The Hockeridge in Canterbury Road, Westgate-on-Sea.

Firefighters, including eight wearing breathing apparatus, were called to the three-storey building where they fought the flames using jets and a hydrant. Police and ambulance services also attended, with paramedics treating one casualty for the effects of smoke inhalation.

Police said the fire was not being treated as suspicious but added that a general inquiry was ongoing. A post-mortem is being carried out and an inquest will be held.

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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "The cause of this tragic fire is currently unknown.

"Generally however, care homes have a legal duty to ensure their residents are safe and well cared for. There should be safe systems in place for evacuating all resident safely should a fire or other emergency occur.

"I regularly act for members of the public injured as a result of someone else's fault. Such claims can be against local authorities or owners or occupiers of buildings.

"Such claims can be against care homes, hotels or other people responsible for the injured persons health and safety."