Fatal care home fire caused by ‘oxygen cylinder exploding’


One resident dies and another person in critical condition after blaze at Stevenage care home

An elderly man has died and another person is critically injured after a fire thought to have been caused by an explosion at a residential care home.

Emergency crews were called to the Woodlands View in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, at 4.30pm on Saturday after a “minor explosion” caused by an oxygen cylinder. Eight fire engines were sent to the scene.

One resident, in his 80s, was in the room where the fire started and died later in hospital. Six other people were injured, including another resident who is in a critical condition.

Darryl Keen, chief fire officer and director of community protection at Hertfordshire county council, said: “There were 41 people in the premises at the time of the fire, many of these self-evacuated but firefighters completed five rescues and assisted another 10 from the property. All 41 residents, staff and visitors, were assessed by the ambulance service. The fire was out by 5pm.”

The home was acquired by HC-One in August 2017, and the council said it would continue to work with the provider to ensure the welfare of residents affected by the fire.

“The care home providers are doing everything possible to contact relatives of residents to keep them updated with the latest information,” an update on the council’s website said.

It added: “The joint response from all the emergency services has been commendable. An investigation into the cause of the fire will now be carried out. Our thoughts are with all those affected.”

Woodland View is a complex of six separate buildings with about 25 residents in each unit.

In June, when the home was owned by Bupa, an inspection by the Care Quality Commission found it “required improvement” in all areas including safety.

The CQC report said: “The service was not consistently safe. People’s individual risks were assessed, however, this was not consistent and some needs were not risk assessed.”

  • 6 Jun, 2018
  • Melanie Harding
  • automatic fire alarm, fire procedure, fire risk assessment, Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order,

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