Couple say thanks after blaze rescue

PUBLISHED: 14:14 02 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:18 03 March 2010

AN ELDERLY Ipswich couple thanked the fire fighters who rescued them from their burning home and said: "If they hadn't have come we would have been dead.

By Amanda Cresswell

AN elderly Ipswich couple thanked the

firefighters who rescued them from their burning home and said: "If they hadn't come, we would have been dead."

Raymond and Maria Miller, of Newton Road, were trapped in an upstairs bedroom as fire ripped through their living room early on Friday morning.

The terrified pair, both aged 78, shouted through an open window to get help as the fire roared downstairs. By chance, a passer-by heard their cries and

immediately dialled 999.

Crews fought the blaze while four of the firefighters went upstairs to rescue the couple.

Mr Miller, said: "It was really frightening. It was about 5am and my mouth was getting dry and I went to get some water to drink.

"But as soon as I opened the door I was sweating. I had never felt so much heat in all my life.

"The smoke was so thick that the fire must have been smouldering for some time.

"We had shut the bedroom door but the smoke was coming underneath it. The heat was unbearable and it was hard to breathe.

"If we had both been asleep it could have suffocated us. It was so scary because we couldn't get out of the place. I have never been so scared in all my life."

They opened the bedroom

window to get some air as they were unable to get out of the


"I was shouting," said Mrs Miller, "but because it was so early we didn't think people would hear because they would be in bed. Then a chap came past and made the call. I don't know who he was but we are very grateful to him." A neighbour made a second

emergency call.

The couple were taken to Ipswich Hospital suffering from smoke inhalation but have now fully recovered from their ordeal.

"We said afterwards we didn't get the chance to thank all those who came to our aid at the time," said Mrs Miller. "If wasn't for the passer-by or fire service we

wouldn't be here."

It was thought that the blaze was caused by a faulty electrical item which set fire to a chair. The couple didn't have a smoke alarm but are now getting one installed.

Sub officer Pat Davey, who is based at Princes Street fire station, had earlier stressed the importance of smoke alarms He said: "A smoke alarm would have given much earlier warning and they wouldn't have been trapped inside."

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