My escape from house inferno

Neighbour John Wardle outside the scene of a house fire on Arundel Street, Halifax
Neighbour John Wardle outside the scene of a house fire on Arundel Street, Halifax
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DOZENS of firefighters battled for hours to put out a massive blaze at a Halifax home.

Windows were blown out and flames were licking through the roof of the house in Arundel Street,

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off Gibbet Street.

People living nearest the building were evacuated by the five crews from stations across Calderdale who were called to deal with the fire at 1.45am yesterday.

For some time the teams searched the burning building for a man who lives at the house, unsure if he was still inside.

He is understood to have been contacted by police later yesterday morning.

John Wardle, 57, lives next door to the fire-hit house and was woken by a neighbour who had seen the flames.

“It was like an inferno,” he said.

“I think I’ve had a lucky escape. I was fast asleep when it started. I just heard a lot of banging on my door.”

Mr Wardle was taken to a community centre until he was allowed back inside his home at around 8am.

“You can still smell the smoke in there,” he said.

Station manager for Calderdale and district Dom Furby praised the fire crews for managing to stop the blaze spreading from the back-to-back property to the houses behind and on either side.

The fire severely damaged the whole of the first floor and the attic.

Station manager Furby said the staircase to the attic was completely destroyed by the blaze, leaving crews having to use an extension ladder to reach the second floor.

He also said the ground floor had been very cluttered, making searching difficult for the fire teams.

Fire investigation officers and police scenes of crime officers were at the house yesterday. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.