Bilton shop explosion featured on BBC Real Rescues

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The dramatic story of how firefighters rescued ten people trapped after an explosion in Bilton was televised by the BBC this week.

The episode of Real Rescues, broadcast on Monday morning, looked at the courageous actions of the crews - and highlighted the calm and professional way control operator Michelle Rulli took the initial call from a distressed mother.

The call came from a woman who lived in the flats above the All in One store in Freemantle Road in Rugby.

She had been woken early on July 5 by the explosion and called 999 when she realised that flames and smoke were coming into the flats above.

In her panic, she initially gave the wrong address - sending fire crews in the wrong direction.

The structural damage from the explosion meant that residents were unable to escape from the flats, which had only one exit.

Warwickshire’s assistant chief fire officer, Jim Onions, said: “This episode shows the bravery and expertise of our crews and control operator, whose handling of the call helped to calm the lady down after giving the wrong address to the incident. The whole call is quite harrowing and really shows the distressing situations our firefighters and control operators have to deal with on a daily basis.”

Residents had to be rescued from their homes by firefighters using ladders and ropes after the explosion.