A BADLY wired lamp caused the blaze that gutted a student bedroom and brought city centre traffic to a standstill.

Fire crews were called to the student flat in Carholme Road, Lincoln, just before 11am yesterday. The road was closed between the junction with Brayford Way and the Grandstand while crews fought the blaze, which they were forced to tackle from outside after seeing boxes of unexploded fireworks inside the room.

Mike Atkin, crew manager organising the on-scene operation, said: “The fire was in the ground-floor bedroom of the property.

“I was about to commit a crew to go inside and tackle the fire, but then we spotted there were some fireworks in the room, so had to stay on the outside.

“To send in firefighters would have been a safety risk.

“All the occupants were outside when we got here and nobody needed medical assistance.”

Three appliances from Lincoln North and Lincoln South tackling the flames forced the busy commuter road to be closed for an hour and a half. Neighbour Charlie Cryan, 20, who is in her first year at University of Lincoln, said the proximity to her house was concerning.

“We heard a loud banging on the door at about 11am and firefighters were standing there asking if we had smoke in the house,” said Miss Cryan.

“It was a bit too close for comfort. The smell of smoke was coming into the house quite strongly.”

Flatmate Rachael Smith, also 20, said: “It was quite scary considering it was only next door.”

The blaze started after an electric cord attached to a lamp in a cupboard overheated, investigators said. Emergency services were able to save most of the building from further fire damage, but smoke, heat and water damage has permeated some rooms. The flats are thought to be rented to students, but nobody connected with the property was available at the scene for comment.

Group manager Mark Baxter, who investigated the fire, said: “The fire was caused by a badly wired lamp.

“It shows how it can only take an old or poorly wired plug to show how powerful electricity is.

“The wires don’t even need to touch for a spark to jump and start a fire, so we urge people to watch out for hot plugs and sockets, fuses that blow for no obvious reason, flickering lights and scorch marks on sockets or plugs.”

[Source: Lincolnshire Echo]