Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 4°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.

shares

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.

shares

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

Eddie the Eagle movie starring Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman

It’s the ultimate underdog story – and one of Suffolk’s most famous sons has lent his songwriting skills to its big screen dramatisation.

The Belstead House in Pinweood, Ipswich.

Frustrated councillors who object to plans to build 155 homes in their parish are threatening legal action against planners.

A file picture of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service.

Firefighters were called to a home in Springfield Road in the early hours.

Tim Passmore has vowed to tackle FGM

Police in Suffolk have said tackling Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and sexual abuse is a key priority, and have vowed to take a “zero tolerance” approach to the issue.

Fun at Sutton Hoo this half-term

For more days out suggestions, see our packed Event guide in the paper every Friday or check out @WhatsonWayne on Twitter.

A file  picture of the A14.

A man was taken to hospital after he came off the motorcycle he was riding.

Remi Morrison is pictured at Pump and Grind in Ipswich.

Love is the theme this week as venues in Ipswich celebrate Valentine’s Day with live music spanning from blues, reggae, rock and soul.

Baklava granola

Charlotte Smith-Jarvis shares some of her favourite suggestions for a lazy weekend breakfast.

Ellen and her family

There is a nasty rumour going round the playground, writes Ellen Widdup.

Sleepless in Seattle

Instead of splashing out on an expensive meal this Valentine’s, why not have a romantic night in watching a themed film?

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24