Man falls to death and police officers injured in fire at Luton block of flats

  • Watch a report by ITV Anglia's Sophie Wiggins

Witnesses have told how a man fell 14 floors to his death from a burning block of flats, as police confirmed five officers were taken to hospital.

The victim, who was aged in his 50s, fell from the top floor of the building at Green Court in Luton on to scaffolding being used for renovation work.

Officers were called around 4am to the fire, which was contained in the home of the victim.

Five police officers were taken to hospital, one with serious injuries. The other four have since been discharged.

The cause of the fire, which has now been extinguished, is unknown.

One resident said: “It looks like the poor guy fell to get away from the fire.”

Forensic officers in white suits were tasked with removing the body from the scene on Thursday morning.

The fire service said crews were now working to ensure there were no fire hotspots and an investigation team was working to find out how the blaze started.

Green Court residents were evacuated from their homes around 4am after a fire broke. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Ten fire engines from the county's fire service were sent to Green Court in Luton, and at around 4.30am residents were evacuated from the other 97 flats and told to leave all belongings.

Bedfordshire’s Assistant Chief Constable Sharn Basra said: “All three emergency services attended. Unfortunately we were faced with one fatality. That individual has yet to be identified and our thoughts are with his family.“One police officer suffered injuries and has been taken to hospital in a serious condition. Four other police officers and four members of the pubic were taken to hospital but have since been released.“We were forced to evacuate all of the premises. The fire service remains at the scene but as soon as we can we will allow people to return to their homes.”

Courtney Meade and her two-month-old baby Harmony were ordered to evacuate. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Courtney Meade and her two-month-old baby Harmony were ordered to evacuate by police at 4.30am.

"We ran out in what we were wearing. I didn't even manage to grab any supplies for the baby," she said.

"I've been asking people I know around the area for milk, nappies because we don't have anything and aren't going to be let back in until some time this afternoon. We are just standing out here in the street."

She added: "To be evacuated was really scary - you just think 'is my house going to go up and am I going to lose everything?'"

A community rapid relief team is providing food to emergency services on the scene. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Claire Thomson lives nearby and has friends and family who live in the building. 

She said: "Everyone has had to leaves their homes. They don't know when they are going to be back in their houses. It's horrible."

Some residents said they have been evacuated to Chaul End Community Centre in Luton while investigations continue.

A community rapid relief team is also providing food to emergency services on the scene.