Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 15°C

Search

Gallery: Courageous neighbour relives the moment she rescued her neighbour from bungalow blaze in East Bergholt

09:22 06 August 2014

Shirley Allen rescued her neighbour from a burning bungalow fire in East Bergholt on Monday.

Shirley Allen rescued her neighbour from a burning bungalow fire in East Bergholt on Monday.

A courageous neighbour who pulled an elderly widow from her burning bungalow moments before it was engulfed in flames has spoken of the daring rescue and how fate conspired to save the day.

Shirley Allen said it was only by chance that she found herself outside her home on Monday afternoon when the smell of smoke alerted her to the fire happening two doors down in Foxhall Close, East Bergholt.

The 67-year-old retired care worker had originally planned to go shopping in Manningtree and would have been unable to save her neighbour had she not had a last-minute change of heart.

“I believe in fate and I believe someone was standing on my shoulders guiding my actions,” she said.

“If I hadn’t been there I don’t know what would have happened.”

After calling on her neighbour’s door and hearing her voice, scared and confused behind, Mrs Allen coaxed her to the door, entering the burning hallway as flames lapped at the ceiling and pulled the woman to safety in the nick of time.

“I covered her with a blanket and just as we managed to get to the next door property it blew and the flames came shooting out the window,” she said.

“I’ve never seen anything like it in all my life, the smoke was billowing so thick I could not see past her house – it was colossal!”

Despite the dangers, Mrs Allen and her neighbour were left unscathed by the fire as it went on to destroy the roof and engulf the building.

Firefighters from Ipswich, Woodbridge, Holbrook and Colchester spent more than an hour tackling the blaze and were on site for several more as they dampened down the charred shell remaining.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue’s watch commander Dave Edwards said his colleagues had seen plumes of black smoke billowing from the property as they approached along the A12 and faced 10 foot flames on arrival.

The adjacent two properties were also evacuated with the owners not expected to be allowed home for up to eight weeks as repairs are carried out. Mrs Allen said that although she was relieved to have been in the right place at the right time, she was saddened for her neighbour’s loss.

“Everything went so quickly, I was not really thinking about myself but at least I got her out,” she said,

“I just think it’s an awful shame that the woman has lost everything.”

Kathleen Cherry, who also lives on the close, praised Mrs Allen for making the rescue.

“If she hadn’t gone in when she did I don’t know what would have happened,” she said.

1 comment

  • Now that's a hero not some prat of a footballer

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Stephen Higgins has been sentenced for speeding. Leaving Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court.

Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner says the public have been “let down” after a motorcyclist caught going 133mph on the A14 walked away from court with a £50 fine and three-month driving ban.

GB Paralympic swimmer, Ryan Crouch, is pictured at Crown Pools in Ipswich.

Britain’s Olympic success might be seen as a hard act to follow – but East Anglian Paralympic swimmer Ryan Crouch says the show has only just begun.

The Very Rev Martin Thrower

Worshippers at Hadleigh Church have reacted with sadness after learning that their rector has been arrested on suspicion of voyeurism.

Norwich Crown Court

A former instructor for the Army Cadet Force has been jailed for sexually assaulting a teenage cadet on a training camp.

An East of England Ambulance Trust ambulance. Photograph Simon Parker

A car has overturned on Woodbridge Road close to Barclays Bank in Ipswich.

The new Aldi in Donald Mackintosh Way, Ipswich.

Ipswich’s third Aldi supermarket is to open its doors tomorrow at Pinewood on the southern edge of the town.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

Two young men terrified a teenage girl after donning balaclavas and arming themselves with a hammer and rounders bat when taking the law into their own hands.

The Very Revd Martin Thrower

A senior Suffolk clergyman has been suspended by the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich after being arrested by police on suspicion of voyeurism.

Ricky Mutton

Police were able to clear up 13 burglaries after an Ipswich man wrote a letter from prison saying he wanted to “wipe the slate clean”, a court has heard.

Suffolk and Norfolk police assistant chief constable Sarah Hamlin.

The assistant chief constable for Norfolk and Suffolk constabularies has announced her retirement in a series of Twitter posts which appear to criticise the police forces.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24