Man arrested after fire at Matlock flats

A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of arson after a blaze at a block of flats in Matlock.

Fourteen people were evacuated following the fire at Gateway Court, on Bakewell Road.

The blaze broke out in the early hours of Friday, October 28.

The ground floor of a three-storey block of 12 flats was well alight and 15 fire fighters and three engines were called out to tackle the fire.

Crews searched the heavily smoke-logged building and rescued an elderly man who had was trapped by the smoke.

A spokeswoman for the fire service said: “People were trapped by the smoke but were safe in their flats due to the strong fire doors.

“The fire was quickly brought under control by the fire fighters while the first and second floors were still being searched to account for all people.”

She added: “Fourteen people were evacuated because of the fire with two people being assisted out by the fire service.”

Crews left the scene at around 3.10am.

One resident, Aaron Flint said on the Mercury’s Facebook page: “I live in the second block and I’d say well done to the fire fighters, police and ambulance crews. They looked very well organised. These guys need a lot of praise.”

Jacque Allen, executive director of Dales Housing which runs the flats, said: “Following the fire at Gateway Court in the early hours of Friday morning we have been out and spoken to the majority of our tenants to check on their well-being this morning.

“We are now helping the police and the fire service with their inquiries.”

Volunteers from the British Red Cross, which has a base in Matlock Green, were also called out to help.

A spokeswoman for the charity said: “We offered refreshments for families that had been affected as well as emotional support.”

A 47-year-old man from Nottinghamshire has been arrested on suspicion of arson. He has been remanded in custody until November 18 when he will appear at Chesterfield Magistrates Court.