Elderly woman rescued from burning home

A PENSIONER was rescued by firefighters after a blaze broke out in her sheltered accommodation flat.

AN 86-year-old woman was rescued by firefighters in the early hours of the morning after a blaze broke out in her sheltered accommodation flat.

And yesterday rescuers said that without a working smoke alarm the pensioner could well have died.

Firefighters wearing specialist breathing apparatus (BA) broke down the door of the smoke-filled flat at Spendells House, Naze Park Road, shortly after being alerted at 5.12am on Saturday.

They found the woman in a chair asleep and overcome with fumes.

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Frinton station officer Mark Oxley said: “When we were in the corridor we could smell the smoke.

“The BA crews got through the door and it was heavily smoke-logged.

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“A lady had fallen asleep and the alarm, which was connected to CareLine, had not woken her.”

SO Oxley added that the cause of the fire was believed to have been a cigarette that had fallen from an ashtray and onto a small wicker table.

“That had burned through and the cigarette had fallen onto the carpet below.”

He added that the fire had spread on the carpet to a patch around 3ft square and was still smouldering.

“It was close to reaching a Crimplene bedcover. Had it reached that, the fire would have developed very quickly.

“Without the smoke alarm things would have been much worse.

“This fire would have developed over the next five minutes.

“A much larger percentage of fires would be fatal if it wasn't for the installation of smoke alarms.”

SO Oxley said that the woman's daughter arrived at the scene shortly after the rescue.

A spokeswoman for the East of England Ambulance Service said that the pensioner was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation by a paramedic but was not taken to hospital.

The fire was put out by around 5.50am.

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