FLAT INFERNO NEWS COPY WITH PICTURES - by Sarah Ward A man died and a woman was fighting for her life after a fire ripped through a flat above a shop, which burnt so fiercely 55 fire fighters were sent to the scene. The couple were rescued from the inferno, but the man died despite treatment from paramedics and the woman's burns were described as "life-threatening". She was said to be in a critical condition in hospital after the fire on Saturday night. The blaze took hold shortly before 9pm in Fishonds, Bristol, in a flat above a strip of takeaways. Roofing repair work appeared to have been taking place in the flat, which was surrounded by scaffolding. It was above a Caribbean takeaway, Dayzeeks, and Meye Couture Fashion Shop. Columns of thick black smoke could be see from the surrounding area, and neighbouring roads were closed as emergency services rushed to the scene. Neighbouring flats were badly damaged and firefighters had to use thermal imaging and breathing apparatus to find their way around the burning building. A joint investigation was launched into the cause of the fire by Avon and Somerset Constabulary and Avon Fire and Rescue Service. Cops warned the condition of the building meant the probe "may take some time." A spokesman said: "The joint investigation to establish the cause of fire will continue today although this may take some time because of the condition of the building." "The death of the man has been referred to the coroner. We continue to make enquiries on behalf of the coroner."