Gran's bedroom fire drama

A GRANDMOTHER has today told how she battled through a cloud of smoke to save her son after her bedroom caught fire.

A GRANDMOTHER has today told how she battled through a cloud of smoke to save her son after her bedroom caught fire.

Vicki Sherratt claims she has always been good in a crisis and it was this attribute that saved both her life and her 24-year-old son Richard when a fire broke out in her home in Beaconsfield Road at 4.30am on Tuesday.

Ms Sherratt, 54, had been using a bedside light to read as she sat in bed and then left it on when she went downstairs to make a coffee. Half an hour later she spotted smoke coming down the stairs and immediately rushed up into the thick plume of smoke to get her son out of bed.

Although the house was fitted with two smoke alarms, it appears as though they were not working.

Neighbours called the fire brigade after they spotted smoke coming from the loft hatch and when fire crews arrived, they were evacuated.

Ms Sherratt, who rents the property, said: “The smoke alarms are connected to the mains and they have a green light on the top so I assumed that meant they were working. I don't test them.

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“It was a terrible shock. I was only in the thick of this smoke for 40 seconds but it was completely suffocating. It felt like I was drowning in smoke. If there had been a baby up there, like my grandson, they would have died.”

Ms Sherratt believes that swapping the bulb in her main light to her bedside lamp could have caused it to overheat and set fire to the covers, as the light was situated very close to the bed.

Much of the upstairs of the terraced property has been affected by smoke and fire damage, including all Ms Sherratt's clothes and belongings.

She is now staying at a friend's house and cannot bear to go back to the house and see it in its current state.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said the fire was a reminder of the importance of checking smoke alarms regularly.

She added: “We recommend people check their smoke alarms work every week.

“The smoke alarms that are connected to the mains do have back-up batteries but these still need to be tested all the time.”

Has your life been saved by having a smoke alarm? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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