Woman dies after fire at Northampton retirement village

St Crispin Retirement Village
St Crispin Retirement Village

A woman died after a blaze in her home at a retirement village in Northampton this morning.

Fire crews were called to first floor flat in St Crispin’s Retirement Village at 3am and the fire and rescue service confirmed one person died as a result of the fire.

The fire itself was contained within the single flat.

An ambulance arrived at the scene within 16 minutes and a spokesman said: “We received a call from Northants Fire Service during the early hours of this morning to attend a fire at St Crispin Retirement village.

“Nobody required hospital treatment.

“One patient was pronounced dead at the scene, our thoughts are with their family.”

Three fire engines attended the scene from around the county, the first arriving at 3.25am.

Firefighters from the nearest station to St Crispin did not attend due to industrial action.

Northants fire and rescue service area manager David Harding said: “Our response was in accordance with normal mobilising procedures.

“We do have carefully planned contingency measures in place to maintain strategic fire cover across the county at all times, based on where the risk is highest.

“We have 28 fire appliances with the county and, at the time of the incident, about two thirds of them were available in the area.

“We mobilised the three closest appliances, with about 20 firefighters, as we would in any situation.

“A small number of people, who left their flats during the incident, were led to safety.

“A forensic investigation is now taking place to determine the cause of the fire and that is likely to continue for some time, at least throughout the day.”

Luke Hodson, group manager and fire investigation officer, said: “We have a fire at a residential flat here. It’s under investigation but it’s not suspicious.”

Firefighters in Northamptonshire are currently on strike due to ongoing rows with the Government over pensions.

FBU members across the country began their four-day strike at 6pm on Friday and it is not due to end until 6pm this evening (Monday).

Firefighters from Mereway - the nearest station to St Crispin Retirement Village - did not attend the fire due to the strike.

Instead firefighters from a secret location ‘a stone’s throw’ from the Mounts station attended, along with back up from Long Buckby and Burton Latimer.

Mr Hodson said: “We sent a normal response to the incident, regardless of the strike.

“We had a engine from central Northampton as the first response. During industrial action we work from separate locations so this one came from Northampton a stone’s throw from the Mounts.

“Mereway would have been the nearest station but it’s the same situation day to day.

“If Mereway was out then we would naturally mobilise the town centre crew. It was no different in this situation.”

A mix of full and part time firefighters who were not on strike tackled the fire.

Mr Hodson said: “The response time was no different. We had three fire crews which we normally would have in this situation.

“It’s then all down to the travelling distance for firefighters to arrive at the scene which adds a few minutes to attendance.”

One person at the retirement village was evacuated due to the fire as a result of water dripping into the flat.

The fire was contained in the one flat.

The neighbour of a woman who died after a blaze in her home at a retirement village in Northampton this morning has said “she will be missed”.

Brian Nichols, who lives at St Crispin Retirement Village, said: “I woke up to flashing blue lights, and looked out to see two fire engines outside, putting a hose through a window.

“I did know the lady who passed away and I can say that she will be missed here.”

A statement by The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, which runs St Crispin Village, said: “We are deeply saddened by this incident.

“Our thoughts are with the resident’s family. We are also concerned to ensure the welfare of our other residents and staff who are living and working within the Village.”