House burns and paramedics called for local OAP after chaotic party

A councillor has called for an end to student house parties after an incident left one pensioner so anxious that neighbours say an ambulance had to be called.

A blaze took hold in a house and an ambulance was called for an elderly neighbour on one street at the same time as an enormous house party reportedly involving more than 50 students last night.

Although it has been claimed that the incidents were linked, this has not been confirmed by emergency services and has been disputed by one attendee at the party.

Nevertheless, local residents shaken by events have expressed their outrage after the extraordinary scenes in Empress Road, Kensington Fields.

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Today the property where the fire happened stood empty with blackened and empty window frames visible in the upstairs bedrooms.

A local councillor claimed that there were 54 people at the party, although the number has not been confirmed by any official source.

A student who claimed to be at the party said the fire was unrelated and occurred in the house next door, leading to both properties being evacuated.

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Although the new localised lockdown measures have not yet been imposed, current coronavirus restrictions prevent any more than six people socialising at a time.

Liverpool Councillor Nick Small, of Central Ward, told the ECHO the incident was the fourth student house party reported in the Kensington Fields area in the past week.

He said: "We have been trying to work with the universities for the past couple of weeks, as with the students coming back things like this are going to be happening.

The aftermath of the blaze at Empress Road in Kensington Fields, Liverpool

"This is the fourth one we have reported over the last week, this being the most serious.

"The police were called, and they told one of the residents there were 54 people in this party. In one of the upstairs bedrooms there was a fire.

"One of the neighbours is elderly and has Alzheimer's disease, and an ambulance had to be called because of the distress."

Jan Witter, 51, who lives nearby, told the ECHO: "We are sick of this. Someone could have b****y died last night.

"A police officer told a resident they had never seen anything like it before.

"These are only two or three bedroom houses.

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"This is not just an area for students, this is a residential area, we have had people living here 70 odd years, why should they have to leave their homes?

"Residents are working, we have a primary school, we have a local church, a local community centre. They treat it like a student village and it's not a student village."

The aftermath of a blaze at Empress Road in Kensington Fields, Liverpool

Mrs Witter said the problem had been ongoing "for years" and expressed frustration at a lack of action.

She said: "If this carries on people are going to start taking things into their own hands, and why should we have to do that?"

Liverpool universities pledged their commitment to upholding the new lockdown measures earlier this week in an open letter.

They stated that they have developed a joint Student Community Pledge asking students to demonstrate their shared commitment to keeping themselves and others safe.

Councillor Small called on universities to share data with each other on problems with housing on local communities.

He said: "We will report something and they will say 'oh they are not our students'. We want them to talk to each other when problems come up.

"There are old people in these areas and people are worried about covid spreading. Having these house parties just exacerbates these worries for them.

"If we are not careful we are going to start seeing cases increasing in Kensington Fields."

Mrs Witter added: "We need someone to start standing up for us."

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