Video latest: Fire fears as man locks himself inside flat and refuses to come out

A man has been detained by police following fears that he would set his Apsley flat alight.

Firefighters, police and ambulance crews rushed to Mulready Walk, Hemel Hempstead, just before midday today (Monday).

Police at Mulready Walk, Apsley.

Police at Mulready Walk, Apsley.

After attempts to negotiate with the man through a flat window, police with riot shields stormed the property.

During the incident the road was cordoned off, neighbouring flats were evacuated and National Grid workers were called in due to concerns about the man, believed to be aged in his 30s, having access to gas.

Herts Constabulary spokesman Dan Atkinson said: “A neighbour reported a smell of burning coming from one flat and it appears that a resident has locked himself into his flat and the neighbouring flat have been evacuated.”

A National Grid spokesman said they have been called to the incident as a ‘precautionary measure’ by the police.

Police, fire and ambulance called to Mulready Walk, Apsley. Pictures and video supplied by Bilal Altaf.

Police, fire and ambulance called to Mulready Walk, Apsley. Pictures and video supplied by Bilal Altaf.

Herts Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Simon Hoggett said: “The call indicated smoke coming from the premises. The fire appeared to be out on arrival but there seems to be an ongoing incident concerning the police.”

It is understood that the man involved in the incident is known to police.

Artist Bilal Altaf, who lives in nearby Evans Wharf and works from home, said: “There was a loud argument taking place from the location of the block of flats and before I knew it emergency services rushed to the scene and cordoned the area off.

“The person inside was threatening to blow the block of flats up.

Reports suggest a policeman is speaking to someone through a flat window.

Reports suggest a policeman is speaking to someone through a flat window.

“The National Grid arrived to switch the gas off from the mains, a negotiator from the police was up on a ladder talking to someone through the window.

“Altogether 14 police vehicle, three fire engines and three ambulances were here. Some police had riot uniform on.

“The incident finished successfully with the person detained and examined by the medical team here.”

Police with riot shields.

Police with riot shields.

The scene at Mulready Walk.

The scene at Mulready Walk.

All three emergency services are at the scene.Picture by  Bilal Altaf.

All three emergency services are at the scene.Picture by Bilal Altaf.