THE fire service has called on people living in flats to make sure communal hallways are clear to avoid a repeat of the blaze at Hillsborough Terrace in Ilfracombe which saw people forced to escape across rooftops. Residents of flats and bedsits living in

THE fire service has called on people living in flats to make sure communal hallways are clear to avoid a repeat of the blaze at Hillsborough Terrace in Ilfracombe which saw people forced to escape across rooftops.Residents of flats and bedsits living in the five-storey building saw their only means of escape cut off after fire broke out at the base of the building's single staircase.Watch manager Barry Webb at Ilfracombe Fire Station said this was an identical arrangement to many similar buildings in the area.He called on residents in similar properties to minimise the chances of a fire occurring:"Remove all combustible items - examples would be furniture, recycling containers, prams, pushchairs and general rubbish awaiting collection," he said."Another factor in giving occupiers time to evacuate safely is the early warning provided by a fire alarm system."It is essential such buildings are fitted with these systems and that they are regularly serviced to ensure that they operate effectively. Any concerns should be directed to the Environmental Health Department of North Devon District Council.