Red Cross volunteers help Burgess Hill pensioner after fire


A pensioner who narrowly escaped after fire ripped through his home has ‘lost everything’.

Firefighters were called to tackle the blaze at a bungalow in Malthouse Lane, Burgess Hill on Sunday afternoon.

Bungalow in Malthouse Lane, Burgess Hill has been destroyed by fire. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150127-121904001

Bungalow in Malthouse Lane, Burgess Hill has been destroyed by fire. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150127-121904001

The sman, who has been described by a neighbour as ‘active’ and a ‘real doer’ was treated for smoke inhalation by paramedics as fire crews fought the flames engulfing his home.

A spokeswoman for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said: “An elderly man has suffered a fire that severely damaged his bungalow.

“The man didn’t have a smoke detector and the alarm was only raised when his nearby neighbours’ alarm activated.”

The fire service said all of the semi-detached bungalow – and part of the neighbouring house – was severely damaged by fire, heat and smoke which was seen billowing from the property.

While the walls of the house are still standing, most of the roof was destroyed and the windows have been boarded up.

A neighbour told the Middy the man had ‘lost everything’ and has gone to stay with relatives.

British Red Cross volunteer Tom Newman, 21, (below)has supported Fire and Emergency Support Service (FESS) since his 18th birthday and is now a deputy team leader.He was called to the fire on Sunday to provide support.

He said: “I got the call from the fire service on Sunday afternoon so I teamed up with two other volunteers – Tony Armstrong and Keith Brandon. The three of us headed over in our specially equipped vehicle, which has spare clothes, hygiene packs, first aid equipment, food and drink and a quiet seating area on board.

“The fire service asked us to support the people whose homes had been damaged by the fire, so I went to talk to them while Tony and Keith got some refreshments for the firefighters.

“The two men who lived in the bungalows both needed a bit of practical help.

“With the help of the fire service I went back into one house to retrieve some medication for one of them, and made sure he had information on who to contact next before he was taken off to a relative’s house.

“The other man already had his niece with him for support, so I helped him with practical matters like contacting his insurance company and talking to the fire service about having his home boarded up.”

To volunteer for the British Red Cross FESS service call Lynne on 07739 823210.