"A RECKLESS act of mindless stupidity” is how The Friary flat fire, believed to be arson, has been described by a city councillor, as police investigations continue.

At around 10pm Sunday night, July 25, firefighters attended the blaze in a communal area at Tintern Court, along Blackfriars Way, which appears to have been deliberately started in the stairwell.

The fire then spread to the first floor and affected three flats.

Despite no injuries caused, four people were rescued from the building, three people were treated for smoke inhalation, and one was taken to hospital for precautionary checks.

READ MORE: Flats left uninhabitable following suspected arson /
Four people brought to safety as fire spreads through block of flats

An off-duty on-call firefighter had already helped one resident to safety when the first crew, out of four, reached the scene.

Three more people were then brought to safety, one by ladder, and one with the use of a fire escape hood, which protects the wearer when moving through smoke.

A number of flats in the block have been left uninhabitable as a result of fire and smoke damage, with some residents having to move into temporary accommodation.

Salisbury Journal:

Describing what happened as "a reckless act of mindless stupidity”, Wiltshire and Salisbury City councillor for the area Sven Hocking said: “This was a terrible event which could have resulted in far more serious consequences, including loss of life, save for the quick reaction of residents and the emergency services.  

“I understand one person has been hospitalised due to smoke inhalation and I wish them a speedy recovery and we need now to repair the damage and allow residents back to their homes.”

Jo Broom, another city councillor for the Harnham East ward, said: "I was extremely shocked to learn of this awful incident, but very relieved that no one was seriously hurt.

"I sincerely hope that the police are able to find those responsible."

Salisbury Journal: Picture from Chris EscottPicture from Chris Escott

Wiltshire Police is now appealing for the public’s help in tracing those responsible for suspected arson.

In particular, the force would like to speak to three young people who were seen in the vicinity shortly before the fire - two males and a female. One of the males was riding a white bicycle.

Anyone with information about this incident can call police on 101 quoting log number 54210072223.

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