The fire in which a man died after falling from the upper floors of a block of flats as he tried to escape is believed to have been caused by the battery of a homemade electric bike catching alight

28 September 2022

The blaze at Twinnell House in Easton began in the early hours of Sunday morning, with one person remaining in hospital with minor burns.

One resident of the flats escaped the fire by climbing to safety along the outside of the building.

Fire investigators have reported it as accidental, with the fire caused by the e-bike contained in the flat where it began and some smoke damage to communal areas of the building on Wills Drive off Stapleton Road.

Eleven fire engines attended the scene with 90 residents evacuated and a rest centre set up at the nearby St Nicholas of Tolentino church.

Despite initial reports, investigators from Avon Fire & Rescue Service say that all safety measures in the block of flats worked well with fire doors and alarms both within the flat and on the top floor where the fire broke out “responding as expected given the circumstances”.

Stairwell landing doors at Twinnell House have a one-way lock to stop people entering from the stairwell, with emergency services personnel choosing to smash the glass to operate one of the landing doors on Sunday morning rather than searching for keys.

Avon Fire & Rescue area manager Steve Quinton, who conducted the fire investigation, said: “Fire investigation commenced in daylight hours on Sunday morning.” Fire investigators, supported by a fire investigation dog, at Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, identified the cause of the fire as accidental, due to an electric bike.

Fire investigation revealed that smoke alarms were provided in the property and electrics wired in by the landlords.”