Flats evacuated after fire in Halifax last night

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AROUND 40 people had to leave their homes after a blaze at a block in flats in Halifax last night.

Fire crews from Halifax, Illingworth and Elland were called to Albion Court off St James Road, Halifax town centre, at 11.55pm to a fire in the rubbish chute.

The heat of the blaze caused flames to spark in a neighbouring flat, causing extensive damage.

And smoke from the blaze at the bottom of the flats spread right up to the 13th floor.

Three elderly people had to be taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

Firefighters said several people were also in shock.

The fire is thought to have been started by lit material being discarded in the rubbish chute.

Assistant divisional commander for the Calderdale division Dominic Furby said the fire had been challenging for firefighters.

They had to help the residents, many who were frightened and worried, out of their homes and check several heavily-smoke-logged floors to make sure everyone was out of the building.

He said the fire service want to warn people in high-rise flats about the dangers of putting ignited materials in rubbish shutes.

He also urged people to shut rubbish chute doors as it was open doors that had caused the smoke to be able to spread.