Joint police and fire rescue operation at Cheam care home

Firefighters and local police officers have been involved in a dramatic rescue of fourteen residents and three staff from a fire that broke out at the nursing home, Abbey Cheam Centre early this morning.

While firefighters dealt with the fire spreading across the roof, police officers immediately entered the building and lifted nine residents from their beds on the ground floor – removing drips and catheters to do so.

They carried them outside the building to safety.

A local resident in The Avenue volunteered to open his door to accept residents from the privately run care home until transportation could be arranged with Sutton Council to take the residents to the company’s homes in Wallington and Banstead.

Sutton police said: ‘His entire family rallied around to help the residents and make them comfortable.’

The last residents, who were aged in the 70s and 80s, had been transported to safe accommodation by 5.30 am.

Police Duty Inspector, Peter Stewart-Maunder, praised his team for their ‘bravery and going above and beyond’ to help rescue residents from the burning care home.

He said:

We were running into the care home and removing bed-ridden residents. Many of the residents were attached to various pieces of medical equipment. Their safe removal took some considerable time and effort – making the actions of officers all the more praiseworthy.

It was very hot in there and you could feel the heat of the water dripping through onto your hands from the fire above.

The actions of our officers were above and beyond and helped to ensure that all the residents were removed safely without loss of life or serious injury,” he said. Only one resident was treated for mild shock.

Sutton police helped assist the fire brigade by evacuating out the ground floor as the firefighters rescued those trapped on he 1st floor of the building where the fire first broke out.

Six fire engines and over 30 firefighters from surrounding London districts such as Wimbledon and Purely took three hours to get the fire under control, after being contacted in the early hours of this morning.

The fire left the nursing home’s roof gutted and the 1st floor badly damaged.

Station manager Simon Brownings who was at the scene said:

When they arrived our crews were faced with a serious fire which was affecting the top floor and roof space of the nursing home. Firefighters worked hard to bring it under control and thankfully the property was safely evacuated with no injuries to anyone involved.

The cause of the fire is now under investigation.

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