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Tragedy as OAP dies in house fire

PUBLISHED: 06:32 24 January 2003 | UPDATED: 16:12 24 February 2010

AN ELDERLY disabled woman has died following a fire at her chalet bungalow in Kirby-le-Soken, near Frinton.

Fire crews were called to The Street after neighbours saw flames coming from a downstairs window and door on Wednesday night.

AN ELDERLY disabled woman has died following a fire at her chalet bungalow in Kirby-le-Soken, near Frinton.

Fire crews were called to The Street after neighbours saw flames coming from a downstairs window and door on Wednesday night.

They found Kathleen Myall collapsed just feet inside her front door and carried her to safety.

But the 78-year-old was declared dead at the scene by paramedics.

Station Officer Colin Batten, from Frinton Fire Station, said two fire engines from Frinton went to the scene just before 10pm.

"We turned up at the premises and the bungalow was well alight and I committed two men in breathing apparatus with hose reels," said Mr Batten.

"We gained entry to the bungalow and we had only got in the door about 3ft when we found the lady collapsed on the floor, with her walking frame.

"She had obviously tried to get out and got trapped behind the door."

Mr Batten said the fire was "well established" by the time firefighters arrived.

"We were called to the incident by a next door neighbour who had smelt smoke. Flames were coming out of the front window and door. No-one could have got in there and done anything."

Mr Batten said when Mrs Myall was rescued from the bungalow, he checked for a pulse but she did not have one.

Mrs Myall was put into the care of an ambulance crew but pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

Firefighters remained there for more than two hours and police forensic teams and fire investigators carried out an examination yesterday.

Mr Batten said the blaze had started in the front room, possibly due to a discarded cigarette, although this was yet to be established. There were no smoke alarms in the bungalow.

Mr Batten said Mrs Myall's grandsons had only recently redecorated the bungalow for her and put in new carpets.

He added: "Obviously we all find it very tragic but we go to a job and do it in the most professional way we can.

"Afterwards we go back to the station, have a cup of tea and talk about things to get them out in the open."

An Essex Police spokesman said the fire was not being treated as suspicious.

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