Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Stand-Off Man in Loft Fire Drama

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Stand-Off Man in Loft Fire Drama

Article excerpt

MAN was critically ill in hospital yesterday after the loft in which he hid caught fire during a stand-off with police. Lee Charlton, 29, retreated to his house when officers arrived to investigate an earlier disturbance involving him and his girlfriend.

Officers were initially called just after 4pm on Sunday to deal with an incident at the Tunnel Club on Chatton Street, East Howdon, North Tyneside. After a chase, neighbours lined the street as police surrounded Mr Charlton's house before negotiators tried to bring him down.

After the fire started, he was rescued by fire crews and taken to North Tyneside General Hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

A close friend, Robert Baggott, 46, left his home after hearing fire engines and police cars arriving. He said: "Everyone could hear Lee banging on the roof trying to loosen tiles so he could get out. Then he told the police if they tried to go into his loft he was going to burn the house down. …

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