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William Penny's Residents Bless Parking Scheme as Flat Blazes

Chris Satori
Residents of the William Penny's sheltered housing scheme block of flats in Regent Street, Lancaster, were evacuated today as fire broke out in a basement flat.

Fortunately the elderly resident of the flat where the blaze started was out visiting her daughter for the day and no-one was harmed.
Residents took shelter with friends and helpful neighbours as the Fire Brigade brought the fire, which gutted the apartment, melting door and window fittings and causing extensive smoke damage throughout the building, under control. The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Several residents mentioned the new parking scheme, which has only been in operation for a few weeks, as being a great advantage as emergency vehicles enjoyed instant access to the property. At a previous serious fire in the street, teams of residents had had to physically lift cars, parked on both sides of the narrow street, out of the way to allow the fire engines to pass, while people lay trapped and unconscious on smoke-filled upper floors. With the new scheme the cars may only park on one side. Kudos is due to the Green Party councillors, particularly Cllr Anne Chapman, who represents this ward, for their long and complex struggle to bring the scheme in.

Having already survived a world war and all the other challenges that the best part of a century of life inevitably brings, residents were in brave spirits despite being shut out without their handbags. Sally, (90), looking ready for anything in a borrowed leather jacket, told me 'It's the people in Japan you have to feel for, when you think what they've to cope with.' Respect.