Heroic couple tell of blaze rescue drama

IPSWICH: A couple who rescued a woman from her burning home today spoke of their terror at finding her unconscious with smoke billowing from the windows.

Nicola and Jamie McLellan, of Shakespeare Road, Ipswich, woke at around 1.45am on Saturday to the sound of what they thought was a car alarm.

But when the noise continued, Jamie got up to investigate and realised it was a fire alarm two doors away at the house of their neighbour, who wished only to be known as Stacy.

Nicola, 40, said: “My husband got to her gate and realised she was lying in the hallway near the door. He shouted to me and I came out with just my dressing gown on.

“He was thinking of the kids and he went upstairs through the smoke to see if they were there. He even tried to get into the kitchen and by the time he got back I had already got the woman out and she was kneeling on the floor throwing up because of all the smoke.

“She had crawled to the front door and opened it but then she must have collapsed with the door wide open because she was out cold when we got there.

“I don’t know how I managed to move her.”

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Jamie, who suffers from diabetes, was taken to Ipswich Hospital needing treatment for smoke inhalation.

The fire is thought to have started in a frying pan on top of the cooker and caused a lot of smoke damage throughout the house.

Nicola said: “There was so much smoke we couldn’t see anything. His nose and his mouth were totally black from the smoke.

“Luckily her children were away and she was sleeping downstairs on the settee. But if they had all been upstairs, I’m not sure they would have got out.”

Despite his traumatic ordeal, Jamie still insisted on going to work at Billington’s sugar factory in Ipswich on Sunday morning.

The woman was also treated in hospital overnight, although she is now recovering at home.

“My instincts just clicked in,” admitted Nicola.

“I was scared for them both, especially when my husband came out and was really breathless.

“It was very frightening but I would still go through it again.”

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