Solihull West Midlands England May 24 2017 A pair of quick-thinking security guards at a Solihull shopping centre helped to evacuate terrified residents after a fire tore through the roof of a nearby tower block.
The fearless guards at Chelmsley Wood Shopping Centre were on patrol when they spotted the flames and smoke coming from the top of the building in nearby Moorend Avenue.
As shoppers watched the drama in horror, the brave duo sprinted across to the block, which is managed by Solihull Community Housing (SCH) and alerted the concierge to the danger.
The plucky twosome, who would not be named, swiftly took to the stairs and banged on the doors of the flats in the 10 storey building.
Residents told the Birmingham Mail they had been unaware of the blaze which could be seen for miles away after the fire took hold at around 1.45pm.
Twenty-five firefighters tackled the incident and gave oxygen therapy to one man who was injured.
Residents from the top two floors were evacuated.
One of the security guards said: “There didn’t seem to be a fire alarm in the block.
“We tried to find one so that we could actually hit a panic button.
“My colleague went to the top floor and I started on the fifth so we worked it between us.
“We were there for about five to 10 minutes but it seemed longer.
“We didn’t think about it, we just went in to help. Then the fire brigade took over.”
Liberty Chester, who has a four year old daughter Lacie, said she didn’t feel safe.
“I’m just glad Lacie wasn’t there,” she said.
“If she had been she would not have gone back into the flat.
The 24-year-old added: “It was the security guards from the shopping centre who saw the smoke and ran over to tell us.
“They tried to find the fire alarm but couldn’t.
“Then they began banging on all the doors to tell us.
“We were waiting outside for maybe half an hour to 45 minutes.
“We weren’t told anything. Nobody knew what was going on.”
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said one ambulance was at the scene.
“One man was treated for minor burns and smoke inhalation.”
“Residents were allowed to return to their homes after the blaze was extinguished at about 3pm.”
Michelle Thomas lives on the third floor and her daughter Chloe Moore lives on the top floor of the building.
Michelle said: “When I got there I saw a roofer who was working there. He tried to put it out himself and his arm was covered in bandages.”
Chelsea Lee has lived in the block for 3 years. The 23-year-old said: “Everyone looks out for each other here.”
Peter Stoate, a spokesman for SCH, said: “We are pleased to report that the fire on the roof of Cheshunt House was quickly extinguished by the fire services. One contractor working on the roof was treated at the scene but no tenants were injured.
“Some tenants had to leave their homes for a couple of hours while safety procedures were followed but all were able to return soon afterwards.”