'There are people who have lost everything': Bedford Mayor pledges support for flat fire victims

The residents affected by yesterday's fire have been offered support
The residents affected by the Redwood Grove fire have been offered support Credit: Adrian Mazurkiewicz

People made homeless by the flat explosion and fire in Bedford have been told they will be given support to help the through a "hugely traumatic experience".

An explosion and fire ripped through a block of flats in the Redwood Grove area of the town at just after 9am on Monday.

At least one person has died in the tragedy, with fire crews warning the building could potentially conceal more bodies.

'Some people have lost everything': Dave Hodgson

Dave Hodgson, the elected Mayor of Bedford Borough Council, pledged support for the victims of the tragedy.

He said: "I thought people were incredibly calm when I went there yesterday, those people were showing me where their flat was and it was clearly no longer there.

"They were putting on an incredibly brave face and being realistic about what they had to do. I can only think that two or three days down the line when the shock has been overcome, we're going to have make sure that we put support in because it has been a hugely traumatic experience for them.

"From the pictures I have seen, and I'm sure everybody has seen, there are some people who have lost everything."

Many of those unable to return to their homes have been offered accommodation as a temporary measure while longer term alternatives are found.

Mr Hodgson said structural engineers were looking at nearby blocks that were relatively undamaged to see if people could return, but for others there could be a longer wait.

"The building that saw the explosion and fire, I'm not a structural engineer, but you look at it and you think 'that's going to have to be demolished' and that could be months if not years away," said Mr Hodgson.

He added the emergency procedures that were in place appeared to work well when needed.

"I think it stepped up really quickly, we had the emergency rescue centre really quickly.

"The St John Ambulance was there, food was there, bedding was there and support was there with the housing team and emotional support was there very quickly, so that seemed to work."