Ipswich: Hero neighbour leapt through wall of flames to save pensioner from fire at her Woodbridge Road flat

IPSWICH: A pensioner today hailed her heroic neighbour who jumped through a “wall of flames” to save her life.

Luis Barbosa smashed a door down and dragged 65-year-old Jane Beaumont to safety after a suspected arson attack at her first-floor flat in Woodbridge Road on Sunday evening.

The 29-year-old Portuguese man, who has lived in the flat beneath Mrs Beaumont’s for around a year, was hospitalised after breathing in smoke during the drama.

He had also been trapped by the flames, but managed to clamber out the front window of his basement flat and onto Woodbridge Road.

He then unlocked the front door to the communal area and was faced with a wall of flames at the entrance to Mrs Beaumont’s property, which is next door to MRS Food Store.

Mrs Beaumont, a former nurse who lives alone, said: “I was watching the television and I heard a crackling of paper, which I thought was a plastic sweet paper.

“I went to the landing and saw a wall of flames, so I went to the balcony to see if there was any flames out the back, because that’s the only way out.”

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She was about to call the fire brigade on her mobile phone when Mr Barbosa entered the fray.

“The door burst open and the chap dashed through the flames and offered to help me out,” she added. “He dragged me because I have bad knees.

“When I first saw the flames, I thought to myself how the hell am I going to get out.

“I feel lucky to be alive, it was only him that came to my aid. He’s wonderful, he thought of my safety only, he saved my life.”

Mr Barbosa, from Lisbon, said he was watching a DVD when he was alerted by a smoke alarm shortly after 9pm.

He said: “I did not know if she was inside or not. I was just thinking about going in to help her, I didn’t think about the fire.

“I smashed the door in, I did not think about myself, I wanted to rescue her.

“I saw her and she was shouting: ‘Help, help, help’.”

Mr Barbosa, who has epilepsy, was taken to Ipswich Hospital suffering from smoke inhalation. He was released around 1am.

Suffolk police confirmed they believed the fire had been started intentionally.

n We would like to clarify that the fire did not take place at MRS Food Stores, as reported in yesterday’s edition of The Evening Star.

n Has a hero come to your aid? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk