Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 3°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Gallery: Courageous neighbour relives the moment she rescued her neighbour from bungalow blaze in East Bergholt

09:22 06 August 2014

Shirley Allen rescued her neighbour from a burning bungalow fire in East Bergholt on Monday.

Shirley Allen rescued her neighbour from a burning bungalow fire in East Bergholt on Monday.

A courageous neighbour who pulled an elderly widow from her burning bungalow moments before it was engulfed in flames has spoken of the daring rescue and how fate conspired to save the day.

shares

Shirley Allen said it was only by chance that she found herself outside her home on Monday afternoon when the smell of smoke alerted her to the fire happening two doors down in Foxhall Close, East Bergholt.

The 67-year-old retired care worker had originally planned to go shopping in Manningtree and would have been unable to save her neighbour had she not had a last-minute change of heart.

“I believe in fate and I believe someone was standing on my shoulders guiding my actions,” she said.

“If I hadn’t been there I don’t know what would have happened.”

After calling on her neighbour’s door and hearing her voice, scared and confused behind, Mrs Allen coaxed her to the door, entering the burning hallway as flames lapped at the ceiling and pulled the woman to safety in the nick of time.

“I covered her with a blanket and just as we managed to get to the next door property it blew and the flames came shooting out the window,” she said.

“I’ve never seen anything like it in all my life, the smoke was billowing so thick I could not see past her house – it was colossal!”

Despite the dangers, Mrs Allen and her neighbour were left unscathed by the fire as it went on to destroy the roof and engulf the building.

Firefighters from Ipswich, Woodbridge, Holbrook and Colchester spent more than an hour tackling the blaze and were on site for several more as they dampened down the charred shell remaining.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue’s watch commander Dave Edwards said his colleagues had seen plumes of black smoke billowing from the property as they approached along the A12 and faced 10 foot flames on arrival.

The adjacent two properties were also evacuated with the owners not expected to be allowed home for up to eight weeks as repairs are carried out. Mrs Allen said that although she was relieved to have been in the right place at the right time, she was saddened for her neighbour’s loss.

“Everything went so quickly, I was not really thinking about myself but at least I got her out,” she said,

“I just think it’s an awful shame that the woman has lost everything.”

Kathleen Cherry, who also lives on the close, praised Mrs Allen for making the rescue.

“If she hadn’t gone in when she did I don’t know what would have happened,” she said.

shares

1 comment

  • Now that's a hero not some prat of a footballer

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Mark Bee and his deputy Lisa Chambers at Endeavour House in Ipswich after they saw off last year's challenge to their leadership.

Conservative councillor Mark Bee is to step down as leader of Suffolk County Council after four years in the role.

Voting isn't the only form of political engagement

The ideological machine that is meant to serve us has gone wrong and is tyrannising us, but that doesn’t mean we should boycott the ballot box

Suffolk has an ageing population - but can we cope?

Dramatic increases in the average age of people in Suffolk have been highlighted in a report which reveals that in some areas nearly one in 10 are expected to be aged 85 or over in the next two decades.

Damage to overhead wires between Diss and Stowmarket - photo courtesy of Greater Anglia

Rail users face an afternoon and evening of severe delays on routes between Norwich and London, after high winds caused damage to overhead power lines between Stowmarket and Diss.

There is the potential for sweeping changes at Braintree District Council come election day – though in practice that is unlikely to happen.

Klaudia Sokolowska

Police are searching for a 14-year-old girl in Felixstowe who has gone missing for the third time in three months.

Hunting for eggs

Will you be feeding the newborn lambs at The Museum of East Anglian Life, trying your hand at archery at Ickworth House or hunting eggs at The Middy’s Steam up this weekend?

Princess Anne meets Livability Treetops Service Manager Janet Bilton during her visit to Livability Treetops in Colchester on Tuesday.

The Princess Royal flew in to Colchester today as part of her work supporting a disability charity.

Firefighters were called to the house fire

Firefighters were called to a house fire in Stowmarket this afternoon.

Fears over future of probation service in Suffolk and elsewhere in East Anglia

Criminals jailed for up to a year could be supervised over the phone and use kiosks to report to the probation service electronically once they are released back in the community.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages