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Flats evacuated in fire 'caused by computer'

Two elderly residents had to be rescued and 20 others evacuated from a block of flats in Bournemouth last night after smoke filled the building.

It's thought an electrical fault - caused by a computer - was to blame for the fire that started just before midnight.

Crews wearing breathing apparatus entered one flat that was completely filled with smoke, while their colleagues took two very elderly occupants from a neighbouring flat to safety.

They were both treated by ambulance crews and given cautionary checks before being released.

Although this was an accidental fire believed to have been caused by a small, recently purchased computer item which was left on standby, it still caused a tremendous amount of damage.

"Although it should be safe to leave equipment on standby, there is always a risk that anything with an electrical supply could develop a fault and cause a fire so we would always urge people to turn such items off at the wall each evening, or when going away for any length of time."

– Clem Stanley, fire investigation office

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