Elderly woman in fire drama

NEIGHBOURS of an elderly woman who was seriously burned after accidentally setting fire to her clothes have been praised for their heroic efforts in tackling the flames.

By Annie Davidson

NEIGHBOURS of an elderly woman who was seriously burned after accidentally setting fire to her clothes have been praised for their heroic efforts in tackling the flames.

The rescuers leapt into action yesterday morning when the pensioner was found outside her home in Mill Lane, Bradfield, with her clothing alight.

They doused her with water to extinguish the flames and then cooled her burns with cold water until emergency services arrived.


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The woman, who is believed to be aged in her 90s, was last night in Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, in a serious condition.

She was airlifted to the hospital by Essex Air Ambulance following the accident at 10.15am yesterday.

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Station officer Brian Rudd, of Manningtree Fire Station, said crews were called to the house after receiving reports of a fire outside a property that involved a person.

Mr Rudd said they arrived after ambulance crews and found the paramedics treating the woman in the hallway of the property.

"There was no real fire but the elderly lady was severely burned," he said.

"We assisted the ambulance crew as much as we could with the first aid and the air ambulance crew when it arrived."

Mr Rudd added: "There will be a full fire investigation on this but it appears she was in the kitchen and somehow set fire to her own clothing."

He said a passer-by and some neighbours had acted swiftly to help the woman. "She had managed to open her front door and they saw her on the doorstep and between them managed to put the fire out," he said.

"They got bowls of water to put the fire out and to cool the burns down. They did a very good job."

A spokesman for Essex Ambulance Service said the air ambulance and a land ambulance were sent to an address in Bradfield at 10.15am yesterday.

"We conveyed an elderly female with quite extensive injuries to Broomfield Hospital by air ambulance for specialist treatment," he said.

"She arrived at 11am, some three quarters of an hour after the original call."

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