Residents say it was a 'miracle' nobody was hurt in Old Hall flat blaze

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THREE men have been arrested after a blaze ripped through a block of flats in Old Hall.

A total of 10 flats on Gregory Close were evacuated at the height of the blaze on Sunday evening with six residents still unsure when they will get a new home.

Witnesses said it was 'frightening' seeing the flames spread across the first floor roof but praised firefighters for their quick actions getting the flames under control after they were called at 8.45pm.

Resident Nigel Ratcliffe, aged 36, said: "I heard someone banging the door down and it looked like an inferno when I came out.

"I was in shock when I saw the flames because I had no idea.

"The firefighters went back in to get my cats and they were great."

But others have been critical of Your Housing Group for allowing a 'nuisance neighbour', whose flat was at the centre of the blaze, to live in a predominantly elderly neighbourhood after numerous complaints.

Debbie Overton, whose 69-year-old mum Ruth lived in the flat below where the flames started, said it was a 'miracle' nobody had been hurt.

She added: "I have had my mum and one of her neighbours who has spinal injuries from his time in the Army staying with me and think it's disgusting Your Housing haven't acted quicker.

"The flames spread across the roof in last than 10 minutes and it's very lucky nobody was killed that night."

Nick Grubb, regional director for Your Housing Group, said: “All six flats have suffered significant damage and are long term uninhabitable.

"Our staff have made contact will all residents that have been affected and of the six residents affected three have been temporary rehoused in a local hotel and the other residents have made their own arrangement with family and friends.

"We have held an emergency planning meeting with our housing officers and we hope to make long term offers to the affected residents by the end of this week.

"We are continuing to work with the relevant authorities and our contractors regarding the building.”

A police spokesman added: "At 9.10pm on Sunday 31 August 2014, police were called to an address in Gregory Close, Warrington to a report of a flat fire.

"Three men from the Warrington area aged 40, 20 and 35 were arrested on suspicion of arson with intent and are currently helping police with their enquiries."

Anyone with information should contact Cheshire Police quoting incident number 882 of 31 August 2014 or alternatively information can be given anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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