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Dog dies after suspected arson attack at Clerkenwell council flats

One dog killed and another "critical" after blaze at St John Street block

17 March, 2017 — By Joe Cooper

A DOG has died and another is “critical” after a suspected arson at a block of flats.

The fire started on the second floor of a building in St John Street and damaged half of the flat.

Two people from the flat where the fire started left the building before London Fire Brigade (LFB) arrived and two women were rescued by firefighters in breathing apparatus.

Firefighters rescued one dog from the flat and gave it oxygen but another dog died in the blaze.

The Brigade’s 999 control gave fire survival advice to residents trapped in the homes.

The fire broke out just before 1am this morning and was under control by 2.30am. A suspect was arrested an hour later, according to Islington Police’s Twitter feed.

Watch manager Graham Foskett, who was at the scene, said: “When crews arrived, smoke was coming from one of the windows and three people were unable to leave their flats.

“Crews stopped the fire from spreading to neighbouring properties and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus forced entry into a neighbouring flat to lead two women, who were on their balcony, to safety.

“There was working smoke alarms in the property where the fire started, but they were not linked up to other areas of the building so failed to raise the alarm.”

Islington Council is providing accommodation to those unable to return home.

A LFB spokeswoman said: “If there is a fire elsewhere in the building but not inside your home you’re usually safer staying in your flat unless heat or smoke is affecting you.

“Flats and maisonettes are built to give you some protection from fire – a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 60. Walls, floors and doors will hold back flames and smoke for a time. If you leave your flat you could be rushing into choking smoke, the fire itself or firefighters using equipment to bring the fire under control in another part of the building.

“Living in a flat is not more dangerous than living in a house, but it’s important to know that your fire plan should be different.”

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