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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 May 2007, 17:34 GMT 18:34 UK
Lives saved by care home response
Douglas View Fire
Ten people remain in hospital following the fire at the care home
Firefighters said a swift response from the emergency services saved the lives of 60 people "trapped" during a major fire at a care home.

A total of 89 residents and 15 members of staff were removed from Douglas View care centre in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, after the early morning fire.

Nine residents were taken to hospital suffering from the effects of smoke.

Chief fire officer Brian Sweeney said the blaze was a "very, very serious and well-developed fire".

It is too early to speculate on the cause. A very prompt response saved the lives of those 60 people
Brian Sweeney, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service

The home, run by Southern Cross Healthcare, cares for elderly, frail people and younger physically disabled people who need help with daily living but do not need full-time nursing care.

John Murphy, chief operating officer for Southern Cross Healthcare said residents had now been moved to seven care homes in the surrounding area.

He said: "We are very grateful for the efforts and speed with which our staff, fire services and police responded.

"We are now doing everything we can to inform families of residents and comfort all residents.

"The home will be operational following fire and police investigations."

A firefighter
Dozens of firefighters helped battle the blaze at the care home

A spokesman for the ambulance service said seven residents were still being treated for the effects of smoke inhalation at Hairmyres Hospital.

There were 89 residents and 15 staff in the home at the time of the fire.

A total of 16 fire crews attended and an investigation into the cause was getting under way.

Mr Sweeney said: "About 60 people were trapped in bedrooms and corridors.

"Sixteen firefighters wearing breathing apparatus went into the building - they rescued 60 people in bedrooms in corridors and under beds.

"It is too early to speculate on the cause. A very prompt response saved the lives of those 60 people."

A fleet of patient transport minibuses arrived at the scene to take the pensioners to alternative accommodation.

Rescuers tackle fire at care home
02 May 07 |  Glasgow and West

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