Halesworth: Drama as woman rescued from house fire

FIREFIGHTERS rescued a woman from a blaze at a home in Halesworth during the early hours of this morning - after crews spotted her hand at the window of the property.

Firefighters were praised for their swift actions today after rescuing a woman from her smoke-logged bungalow in Halesworth.

A senior fire officer said that had it not been for the crews’ quick thinking and the fact that the property had a working smoke alarm, “we would almost certainly have had a fatality on our hands”.

Crews from Halesworth and Bungay were called to the property in Queen’s Close just after 4.30am.

When they arrived, there was smoke coming from the windows, doors and roof - and they then became aware of someone trapped inside.

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Another appliance from Saxmundham was called to the scene, along with an ambulance.

Station Manager Steve Mableson, of Suffolk fire service, said: “When the crews arrived, they were not aware that persons were unaccounted for but it quickly became apparent that someone was trapped inside.

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“They could see a hand pressed against a window and could hear someone in the bungalow in a distressed state so they had to act quickly and decisively.”

Firefighters donned breathing apparatus and used an enforcer to smash down the door of the bungalow.

Once inside, they located the woman in a conservatory.

“She was in a distressed state so she was taken outside and given oxygen,” Mr Mableson said. “It later transpired that it was the woman herself who raised the alarm.

“But, having got past the fire to what she thought was a safe place, she was then unable to get to her keys to let herself out.

“Being night and all the doors having been locked, she then found herself trapped inside the property.

He added: “What initially appeared to be a routine incident became a lot more serious. The crews had to think and act very quickly.

“Had they not done so, and had the bungalow not had a working smoke alarm, we would almost certainly have a fatality on our hands.

After being rescued from the property, the woman was given oxygen and treated at the scene by ambulance paramedics.

She was assessed to be well enough not to require hospital treatment.

Mr Mableson said the source of the fire had been traced to an electrical fault in the property’s circuit box.

Its plastic casing had melted, causing thick, acrid smoke to fill the bungalow and causing minor damage to most rooms.

He added: “This incident highlights the need for people to ensure that when locking up their home at night that keys are stored in a place that is both secure and accessible. Please ensure that you can get to your keys quickly in an emergency.”

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