Fire Victim Named

The person who died in a fire in a six-storey block of flats early on Tuesday 5 April 2011 has been named as a 53 year old man.

Barry Collings (below) lived at Bittern Way, Letchworth, Hertfordshire, which is where the fire happened just after midnight.

His family have released a statement saying: "Barry's untimely death has come as a tragic shock to his family and friends.  He was a much loved son, brother and uncle, who had a wide circle of friends.

"We request to be left in peace at this traumatic time, to come to terms with his death."

Police say they aren't treating the fire as suspicious.

Barry Collings

Around 70 people from flats were evacuated to a local community centre early on Tuesday morning while 25 firefighters battled the flames. Their work was slowed down because of extreme smoke logging throughout the building, but the fire was under control by 1.30am.

The fire was on the first floor of the block and four homes have been extensively damaged.

Firefighters remained at the scene for several hours and an investigation in to the cause was carried out. Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service have told Heart the fire is not being treated as suspicious.

Heart spoke to one resident, who didn't want to be named, about the incident:

"Everybody was rushing to get outside. The police and fire brigade were here, doing what they have to do - getting people out, checking names, making sure that everybody was out."

"The way the flames were, they were really, really going. It's a wonder it didn't go any further."

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