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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 May 2007, 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK
Rescuers tackle fire at care home
Care home rescue
Dozens of residents were evacuated from the home
Dozens of people have been rescued from a care home in South Lanarkshire after a serious fire broke out in the early hours of the morning.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue said all 89 of the residents were accounted for and 10 people had been taken to hospital suffering from the effects of smoke.

The fire broke out at the Douglas View Care Centre in Hamilton.

Staff at the home in William Street raised the alarm when they discovered the blaze just after 0650 BST.

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.

About 60 people were trapped in bedrooms and corridors, some were unconscious
Brian Sweeney
Strathclyde Fire and Rescue chief officer

The centre can house up to 100 patients on short and long-term stay.

Some smoke had been visible from the building and ambulances were on scene.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said nine residents were being treated for smoke inhalation at Hairmyres Hospital and one member of staff was in Wishaw General.

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

A total of 16 fire crews attended the incident. An investigation into the cause of the fire is now under way.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue chief officer Brian Sweeney said: "This was a very, very serious and well-developed fire.

Map

"About 60 people were trapped in bedrooms and corridors, some were unconscious.

"Sixteen firefighters wearing breathing apparatus went into the building - hey rescued 60 people from 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."

BBC Scotland reporter Laura Pettigrew said: "There are a number of worried relatives at the police line and I spoke to a man whose grandmother is in the care home and he is extremely concerned.

"He's now spoken to people in the home and the emergency services who have put his mind at rest.

"They said that all of the residents are now out of the home and most of them are safe and well."

Elspeth Coddington, 52, from Motherwell, whose 89-year-old mother is a resident in the home, was anxiously waiting for information.

She said: "My husband passed on the train and saw fire engines and police. I came to see what had happened. I feared the worst, I panicked and started crying.

My mother-in-law is 87 and can't move without her wheelchair, I'd like to see her, she'll be a bag of nerves, she's very frail
Patsy Walker
Larkhall

"There are no fatalities so that is good news. I know some have been taken to hospital, I don't know if my mum is one of them. The police won't let us through."

Craig Duncan rushed to the scene because his grandmother was a resident at the home. He said: "They said at first that about 50 people were trapped.

"My mum heard about it in the news and was a bit upset. I said I would race over and find out more about it.

"I spoke to one of the workers here and they said that everyone has now been accounted for.

"I was worried about my gran as she has got Alzheimer's and this would have been a bit of a shock."

Patsy Walker, 54, from Larkhall, said: "My mother-in-law is 87 and can't move without her wheelchair, I'd like to see her, she'll be a bag of nerves, she's very frail."




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