FIVE people were rescued – including a woman hanging out of an upstairs window– during a fire in a block of flats in Brynmawr.

Firefighters saved the woman, believed to be in her 30s, and another man who suffered head injuries when a windowexploded as he was being led to safety, neighbours said. The man needed hospital treatment.

Residents of the three storey building in Gladstone Street were helped out of their homes following the fire on the first floor of the flats during the early hours of yesterday.

Another woman, also believed to be in her 30s, was rescued from an upstairs windowby firefighters using a ladder.

Other residents, which neighbours said included an elderly couple who lived on the ground floor and a man who is believed to be in his early 40s, managed to escape without serious injury.

Neighbours said the man in his 40s later attended hospital to be checked over.

One neighbour who did not want to be named said she had been banging on the windows and looked after the elderly couple when they managed to get out of the flats.

She said: “There was no way we could get any nearer to the others. There was so much smoke.

“Alot of people were out on the street. Everyone was pretty shaken.”

Another neighbour said he had woke up at about 4.05am after hearing someone screaming and saw the woman hanging out of the window.

He said: “The fire was in the stairwell.Wecouldn’t get up the stairs.

“The fire service arrived and took over.”

Gavin Jones, who lives opposite the block of flats, said: “I saw smoke coming out of the flats but just couldn’t get near it. There were three fire engines, a few police and two ambulances here. It was about 5.45am when the fire service left.”

A South Wales Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said firefighters from Abertillery, Blaina and Brynmawr were at the scene following a call received at 4.14am. A cause of the fire had not been established as the Argus went to press.

Gladstone Street remained sealed off by police yesterday and temporary accommodation was being provided to the residents at Brynmawr Community Centre.