Powerful images show extent of damage caused by high-rise flat fire in Leeds

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Dramatic pictures today revealed the damage done by a fire in a high-rise flat in Leeds.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) released the images following last night’s incident on the 15th floor of Marlborough Towers, on Park Lane on the western edge of the city centre.

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The brigade said it had decided to issue the photos to show how even serious fires in flats are often contained to the property where they start.

Although the inside of the flat was badly damaged by the fire, from the outside its front door appeared unaffected.

That, said the brigade, highlights the difference that closing a “well maintained, well fitted fire resistant door” can make in stopping the spread of flames.

WYFRS deputy chief fire officer Dave Walton said: “This incident serves as a reminder of the devastation that can be caused by a fire in a high rise property.

“Perhaps more importantly though, in light of recent tragic events at Grenfell Tower, it is a powerful illustration of how effective compartmentation can work, and that the simple act of closing a well maintained, well fitted fire resistant door can halt the spread of a significant fire.

“The occupant took shelter with a neighbour whilst the fire was in progress and our crews were dealing with it.

“The response of WYFRS to the incident was well rehearsed and very effective, meaning that we were able to deal with the fire with no injury to anyone and minimal damage outside of the affected flat.

“I would like to acknowledge the calm response of all other residents which, in turn, allowed our firefighters to do their job effectively.”

Last night’s fire at Marlborough Towers was caused by discarded smoking materials.

Brigade chiefs said earlier this week that there had been eight “small fires” in high-rise buildings in West Yorkshire since the Grenfell disaster.

The causes of those incidents included cooking, careless disposal of cigarettes and combustible items being left too close to a heater.

As a precautionary measure, the West Yorkshire brigade now sends at least six fire engines – including one with high-reach capability – to any confirmed fire at a high-rise building.

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