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Families flee in blaze scare.

Byline: By Chris Henwood

SIXTY people were evacuated from their Birmingham homes after a fire broke out next to an acetylene cyclinder.

Families in Kenelm Road, Small Heath, were ushered to safety by builders at around 5pm yesterday.

The fire happened in a house that was being refurbished when a pipe attaching the cylinder to a welding torch caught light.

Father-of-four Ulfat Hussain, who lives in another house in the street, said he was standing next to the cylinder when the blaze started.

"I just popped in to see how the building work was going on, and stood right next to the cylinder when it caught fire," he said.

"We just ran out."

Saime Shaban, aged 18, lives next door to the fire-hit property and said builders alerted her to the danger.

"They knocked on the door and told me to get out," said Miss Saime.

She added that those evacuated had been told by firefighters they may have to stay away from their homes for 24 hours.

A West Midlands Fire Service spokesman said 60 people had been evacuated, but described the blaze as small.

"An investigation of the cylinder is showing that it's not an explosion risk, but it is in fact leaking," said the spokesman.

CAPTION(S):

ORDEAL... Kenelm Road neighbours Saima Shaban (left) with sons Danyal, 10, and Islam, 8, and Sajinda Bi, and (inset) Ulfat Hussain who was standing next to the cylinder when the blaze started. Photo ref.: TR161008gass-2
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Oct 17, 2008
Words:245
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