Blaze family are smiling again

THIRD-time-lucky woman Jane Maddams is recovering just yards from where she survived her third dice with death.Jane, who has twice survived killer disease tetanus, was burnt out of house and home a week ago today after resorting to candles and gas canisters during a power-cut.

By JON TUNNEY

jon.tunney@eveningstar.co.uk

THIRD-time-lucky woman Jane Maddams is recovering just yards from where she survived her third dice with death.

Jane, who has twice survived the killer infection tetanus, was burnt out of house and home a little more than a week ago after resorting to candles and gas canisters during a power-cut.


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The miraculous escapes comes after she lived through the horrors of tetanus, or lockjaw, once as a 17-year-old and again this year after she grazed her arm on a hebe stalk while gardening. At one point doctors gave her a 30 per cent chance of survival.

Now recovering from the fire drama, she and son Jonathan are safely installed in a cottage across the road from the charred shell of their Stutton home.

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And they are both

reacting with amazing good grace, even though Jonathan suffered serious burns after fleeing the flames with his shirt alight.

He said: "It could have been a lot worse. To be honest, I'm quite happy to take a burnt arm after what happened.

"We could have been left completely homeless."

Instead, they are facing up to nine months away from their home in a cottage Jane considered trying to buy a few years ago. And it is largely due to a few phone calls in the close-knit community that such a convenient and cosy new home was found.

She said: "Everyone in the village has been wonderful, they've really rallied round by bringing us clothes and furniture.

"This is the first time I've worn any of my own clothes since the fire.

"Jonathan's the same. His jeans and trainers were what he was wearing when the fire broke out – he even went to hospital in borrowed boxer shorts."

Although his left hand is encased in a yellow plastic bag and his forearm is still protected by bandages, Jonathan described his injuries as "basically superficial."

But the 21-year-old admitted the burns were agonising at the time.

He said: "When I was in the ambulance everyone was saying it was a good sign that I was in so much pain.

"It didn't feel like it at the time. I was just after painkillers, morphine – whatever they would give me.

"It's basically just a massive blister now. There shouldn't be any scarring."

Jane and Jonathan both gave beleaguered energy suppliers 24seven a shot in the arm by absolving them from any blame for the accident.

They have no plans to apply for compensation and said Stutton had been well-served by 24seven engineers.

In the immediate aftermath of the blaze, neighbours described the horror of helping the pair from their burning home and putting Jonathan under the shower to douse the flames that engulfed his upper body.

But Jane can now joke about the ordeal. She said: "We'll definitely have a house-warming when all the work is finished."

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