Blackdown Hall fire rages through afternoon and night

Firefighters have worked through the night and following morning to tackle a blaze which broke out at an apartment complex near Leamington on Wednesday.

The fire at Blackdown Hall in Sandy Lane was first reported at about 1.40pm and has caused severe damage to the building.

The fire is thought to have started on the first floor and spread through the roof space of the former Edwardian residence.

None of the residents were hurt but some were evacuated to the nearby North Leamington School, which was set up as an emergency rest centre by Covenetry, Solihull and Warwickshire Resilience.

More than 50 firefighters attended the incident, with 25 staying on into the night and 20 working to dampen down the flames on Thursday morning.

One firefighter was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure after he was hit by a falling roof slate.

Police have blocked both ends of Sandy Lane.

A smoke cloud could be seen above the site in the afternoon.

Gary Philips, deputy chief fire officer at Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service, said the fire could have been contained, had sprinklers been fitted in the building.

“Most of the building has been affected.

“The building was converted to flats which creates hidden roof voids and the fire had spread significantly.

“There has been damage to most of the flats and we have had to cut away most of the woodwork.

“It’s distressing for residents and I do feel for people who have invested in the property and now won’t be able to live there for some time.”

The cause of the blaze is not yet known.