Terrified OAP's narrow escape from blaze

AN ELDERLY woman and her two dogs had a lucky escape after a fire ripped through an upstairs bedroom.

AN ELDERLY woman and her two dogs had a lucky escape after a fire ripped through an upstairs bedroom.

The 74-year-old escaped serious injury in the blaze in Tennyson Road but was deeply distressed on discovering one of her pets had to be put down after the incident.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said the fire began when the woman dozed off and left a candle burning.

Fortunately a mother picking up her child from a nearby school heard her cries for help and called the fire service, which arrived within minutes.

The pensioner was standing by the doorway on their arrival and was given oxygen as she had been affected by the smoke and fumes.

Fire crews from the Colchester Road fire station and a back up crew from the Princes Street station rescued the two dogs from the house and tackled the flames, which were contained to one room.

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Although one of the dogs was left with the woman, the other was collected by the RSPCA and was due to be put down.

After the fire, which broke out just before 3.30pm yesterday, neighbours stayed close by to comfort the frail woman, who looked visibly distressed as officers took the dog away.

Sub officer Richard Wood said: “Luckily we were close by and arrived within a few minutes. The first floor window had smoke issuing from it and the lady was stood by the doorway.

“The message here, especially for the elderly and infirm, is the importance of maintaining a smoke alarm - to have one and test it regularly.

“This woman was very lucky because if it had happened in the middle of the night, it would have been a very different outcome.”

Assistant divisional officer Ken Williamson added: “We strongly recommend that all householders check their smoke alarm today - not tomorrow - as it could save their life.”

Alternative accommodation was arranged for the woman last night.

Did you witness the fire? Have you had a similar lucky escape? Call The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk.

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