Man rescued from fire in a critical condition

Man rescued from fire in a critical condition

Man rescued from fire in a critical condition

First published in News

A DISABLED man who was rescued from a fire in his flat is not expected to survive.


Wheelchair-bound Shane Bland, 26, survived a dramatic rescue in November from a blaze which badly damaged four flats in a house in Fairfax Drive in Westcliff and left one man with serious burns.


Mr Bland,  who has myotonic dystrophy, a form of muscular dystrophy, was taken to hospital suffering smoke inhalation but later released from hospital and returned to his soot-laden flat.
His father believes the four weeks he spent there contributed to his eventual collapse on December 23.


Stephen Bland who lives with his son said: “I wanted the council to find him somewhere else but all they could offer was a hotel. That isn’t suitable for Shane because of the oxygen tanks and other equipment he needs so he had to go home.
“There was soot all over the walls and he was breathing it in. His condition leaves him very prone to lung problems and that wasn’t helping but there was nothing we could do.”


Shane’s condition rapidly deteriorated following his return home.
Mr Bland added: “He had to be rushed to hospital as an emergency. He has developed pnuemonia while he was in hospital and now they say there is no more they can do for him. I believe it is because of the time he spent breathing all that soot in. I am absolutely devastated.”


Shane is now in intensive care where he has been put on a life support machine.
In November the Echo reported a plumber, who had been installing a wet room in the Bland’s flat, lit a blow torch which ignited fumes and set his clothes on fire. He was taken to Broomfield Hospital suffering severe burns.
Fire crews who attended the blaze wore breathing apparatus to make their way through thick smoke to rescue people left trapped in the building, including Shane.


Paul Longman group manager for property services at South Essex Homes which manages the building, said: “We sought guidance from Essex Fire and Rescue Service as to whether their flat was habitable on their return and we were informed that it was.
“Most of the smoke damage was confined to the communal area of the building, although some redecoration of the flat was deemed necessary due to soot marks on the walls and ceilings.”


“Contractors working for South Essex Homes subsequently visited the flat and were able to carry out some initial re-decoration work.
“However, this did not include Shane’s bedroom, which they were unable to gain access to.”


Mr Bland maintains this is because he has had to spend time at his son’s hospital bedside.


Jacqueline Totterdell, chief executive said: “We fully understand Mr Bland’s distress given the very serious nature of his son’s illness and we would once again reassure him that Shane is continuing to receive full and active critical care while in our hospital.”

 

 


MYOTONIC dystrophy is a progressive inherited condition.
It causes mild to severe muscle weakness, particularly of the face and eyelids, jaw, neck, forearms and hands, lower legs and feet. It can affect speech and result in a lack of facial expressions.


Sufferers also have difficulty in relaxing a muscle after it has been contracted, for example it may be difficult to let go after gripping something.
The condition is associated with heart problems with abnormal rhythms a common problem.


Chest and breathing problems are also a major problem for those with the condition. Chest infections may result from weakness of breathing muscles or from food entering the lungs as a result of poor swallowing.
 

Inadequate breathing during the night may lead to disturbed sleep, difficulty waking, morning headaches, loss of appetite and daytime sleepiness.
Regular breathing tests, and sometimes overnight oxygen saturation tests, are often needed to detect problems early.

 

Comments (4)

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11:21am Thu 17 Jan 13

Hannah Foster says...

Shame on the council. They are supposed to take exceptional circumstances into consideration. They are happy to rehouse trouble makers. The echo only reported on the case of a neighbour from hell booted out of her flat in Roots Hall Drive recently. She had been kicked out of previous accommodation before due to her vile behaviour. So when you have a vulnerable sick person who has been left in a dire state through no fault of his own the council must find suitable accommodation. It barely affects the housing stock because as soon as his flat can be redecorated he can move back or it can be re-let with very little impact on the overall housing availability. it is effectively just a swap. I know that this is easily done because the same thing happened to a neighbour of mine a few years ago. There are flats available every week. It just takes a little bit of effort and of course he should be a priority case. Tragically now it seems that it is too late. I really hope that the housing authorities feel ashamed of themselves. My thoughts are with Shane and his family.
Shame on the council. They are supposed to take exceptional circumstances into consideration. They are happy to rehouse trouble makers. The echo only reported on the case of a neighbour from hell booted out of her flat in Roots Hall Drive recently. She had been kicked out of previous accommodation before due to her vile behaviour. So when you have a vulnerable sick person who has been left in a dire state through no fault of his own the council must find suitable accommodation. It barely affects the housing stock because as soon as his flat can be redecorated he can move back or it can be re-let with very little impact on the overall housing availability. it is effectively just a swap. I know that this is easily done because the same thing happened to a neighbour of mine a few years ago. There are flats available every week. It just takes a little bit of effort and of course he should be a priority case. Tragically now it seems that it is too late. I really hope that the housing authorities feel ashamed of themselves. My thoughts are with Shane and his family. Hannah Foster
  • Score: 0

4:37pm Thu 17 Jan 13

whataday says...

Absolutely disgusting way to treat a person with disabilities.

Just reading the description of the conditions he suffers with make it glaringly obvious he has breathing problems. To further compound this by making him return to accommodation which still has soot around and not offering him suitable alternative accommodation either in the long-term or as a temporary measure is tantamount to manslaughter
Also what happened to the hospital discharge planning policy (which should have included input from social services) that he was allowed to return to unsuitable accommodation which would compound his respiratory problems. This poor lad's mal treatment needs to be the subject of a thorough investigation.
My thoughts and sympathies are with this lad and his relatives.
Absolutely disgusting way to treat the needy in our society. My blood is boiling.
My thoughts are with the family.
Absolutely disgusting way to treat a person with disabilities. Just reading the description of the conditions he suffers with make it glaringly obvious he has breathing problems. To further compound this by making him return to accommodation which still has soot around and not offering him suitable alternative accommodation either in the long-term or as a temporary measure is tantamount to manslaughter Also what happened to the hospital discharge planning policy (which should have included input from social services) that he was allowed to return to unsuitable accommodation which would compound his respiratory problems. This poor lad's mal treatment needs to be the subject of a thorough investigation. My thoughts and sympathies are with this lad and his relatives. Absolutely disgusting way to treat the needy in our society. My blood is boiling. My thoughts are with the family. whataday
  • Score: 0

10:59pm Thu 17 Jan 13

notalocalman says...

Hang on! This is clearly a sad case my sympathies go to Shane's family but it seems that the council did what they could in the circumstances.
They tried to redecorate the flat but couldn't get in the bedroom - alright it was because the father wanted to be at his son's bedside - but WHY didn't he ask them to do his son's room first?
It's easy to blame "The Council" but it seems to me that this was just a tragic set of events.
Fair play to the plumber for getting the flaming glue from the flat - I hope he recovers from his injuries.
Hang on! This is clearly a sad case my sympathies go to Shane's family but it seems that the council did what they could in the circumstances. They tried to redecorate the flat but couldn't get in the bedroom - alright it was because the father wanted to be at his son's bedside - but WHY didn't he ask them to do his son's room first? It's easy to blame "The Council" but it seems to me that this was just a tragic set of events. Fair play to the plumber for getting the flaming glue from the flat - I hope he recovers from his injuries. notalocalman
  • Score: 0

9:28am Fri 18 Jan 13

sosad 1 says...

notalocalman wrote:
Hang on! This is clearly a sad case my sympathies go to Shane's family but it seems that the council did what they could in the circumstances.
They tried to redecorate the flat but couldn't get in the bedroom - alright it was because the father wanted to be at his son's bedside - but WHY didn't he ask them to do his son's room first?
It's easy to blame "The Council" but it seems to me that this was just a tragic set of events.
Fair play to the plumber for getting the flaming glue from the flat - I hope he recovers from his injuries.
agree with you hope the plumber and shane get well but i think there is more to this story to come
[quote][p][bold]notalocalman[/bold] wrote: Hang on! This is clearly a sad case my sympathies go to Shane's family but it seems that the council did what they could in the circumstances. They tried to redecorate the flat but couldn't get in the bedroom - alright it was because the father wanted to be at his son's bedside - but WHY didn't he ask them to do his son's room first? It's easy to blame "The Council" but it seems to me that this was just a tragic set of events. Fair play to the plumber for getting the flaming glue from the flat - I hope he recovers from his injuries.[/p][/quote]agree with you hope the plumber and shane get well but i think there is more to this story to come sosad 1
  • Score: 0

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