Ipswich: Brave paramedic Paul Gibson emerges as the rescuer of young woman trapped in burning Maidenhall Approach flat

Brave paramedic Paul Gibson, who pulled a young woman from a burning flat

Brave paramedic Paul Gibson, who pulled a young woman from a burning flat - Credit: Archant

A woman rescued from a burning flat in Ipswich last night has a selfless paramedic to thank for saving her life.

Emergency services, including four fire engines, rushed to the scene in Maidenhall Approach at just before 9pm following reports a blaze had engulfed a property.

It was initially thought firefighters had rescued the young woman, believed to be in her late teens, but it emerged today paramedic Paul Gibson was responsible for the brave act.

Mr Gibson was the first member of the emergency services to arrive at the scene just three minutes after the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) were alerted to the incident at 8.56pm.

After first being told there was no one in the ground floor flat Mr Gibson realised this was not the case when he heard a woman coughing and screaming inside.

As he couldn’t hear or see the fire service Mr Gibson made the decision to enter the smoke-filled building himself.

Mr Gibson, who has been working for EEAST for seven years, said: “It was pitch black inside because of all the heavy smoke but I could tell the woman wasn’t far away.

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“I managed to pick her up and get her back out of the flat, again through the window.

“Her breathing deteriorated so I immediately started giving her respiratory support.

“The fire service then arrived and helped me carry the woman to the waiting ambulance where she was rushed to Ipswich Hospital in a serious condition.

“Entering a burning building isn’t a natural thing to do, but I don’t know how I could have lived with myself had I not done so and the woman had died.

“I just did what anyone else would have done.”

A spokesman for EEAST said: “Paul went beyond the call of duty and his action could well have saved this woman’s life. We’re very proud of him.”

In a statement released earlier today a Suffolk Police spokesman said: “Police were called to reports of a fire at a property in Maidenhall Approach on Thursday, December 19.

“A woman was rescued from within the property and taken to Ipswich Hospital.

“Officers are currently working with Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service to investigate the cause of the fire.”

The woman rescued from the flat is still in a serious condition in hospital.