Fire that killed man as he tried to escape burning building ‘sparked by e-bike’

A fire that led to a man falling to his death from a tower block is thought to have been caused by an electric bike, say investigators.

It is believed the man climbed out of a window in an attempt to escape the blaze in Bristol on Sunday, and then fell.

Emergency services were called to the fire on the top floor of Twinnell House on Wills Drive, off Stapleton Road shortly after 2.15am.

Eight people were treated in hospital, and one continues to receive treatment for minor burns.

Around 90 residents were evacuated and a rest centre was set up at St Nicholas Of Tolentino RC Church at Lawfords Gate.

Bristol City Council housing officers are continuing to provide support to those affected.

Wills Drive has now reopened, the tower block has been declared safe and the cordon lifted.

Avon Fire and Rescue area manager Steve Quinton, who conducted the fire investigation, said the fire prevention measures, including external cladding, worked and contained the blaze to the flat where it began.

“Fire Investigators identified the cause of the fire as accidental, due to an electric bike,” he said.

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

“After seeing the tragic fire, understandably, local people are concerned about fire risk in their own homes, whether they live in flats in the city or otherwise.

“If you’re concerned about fire safety in your home, one of the most important things to do is to make sure your escape routes are clear and ensure that everyone living in the property knows how to get out in the event of an emergency.”

Councillor Tom Renhard, Bristol City Council cabinet member for housing delivery and homes, added: “We’d like to offer our condolences to the family and friends of the person who sadly lost their life on Sunday.

“Many people will feel affected by this tragedy, and I’d encourage residents to seek support from the council’s housing team who will continue checking in on everyone.”