Woman fights for life after house fire

A WOMAN fighting for her life last night after being dramatically rescued from her home when a fire broke out in her front room.Toxic fumes quickly spread through the property and the 44-year-old was found lying unconscious underneath a kitchen table by firefighters, who had been alerted by quick-thinking neighbours.

A WOMAN fighting for her life last night after being dramatically rescued from her home when a fire broke out in her front room.

Toxic fumes quickly spread through the property and the 44-year-old was found lying unconscious underneath a kitchen table by firefighters, who had been alerted by quick-thinking neighbours.

They performed life-saving emergency care on the lady as they waited for ambulance crews to arrive at the house on Bradford Road, Braintree.

One of the homeowner's two pet Jack Russell dogs died at the scene while the other was saved when it was given oxygen by members of the fire crews.


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The blaze happened at about 10pm on Sunday, and crews from Braintree and Coggeshall attended the scene.

Senior Divisional Officer Gary Fleming said that when firefighters found the woman, they thought she was dead.

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He said: “She was black and tarred but we felt a strong pulse and got her out as quickly as we could.

“We put an oxygen mask on her and got her breathing again. We did the same to a little Jack Russell that we pulled out.

“The woman is lucky to be alive and a lot of that is down to the work of crews who did an excellent job in navigating the thick smoke in a complex layout of rooms to search and find her body.”

It has emerged that a smoke detector was fitted but had been located on a wall and too close to a corner to be fully effective.

Next-door neighbour Carole Robins said if it hadn't been for the young couple in the adjoined house, who only moved in last week, the woman, known as Kay, would have died.

Mrs Robins, 64, said: “The smoke just poured out when the firefighters opened the door.

“I think the neighbours may have saved her life. They're just two young kids really - they rang our door bell and called the fire brigade.

“I knew there was something was wrong then as soon as I opened the window because the smell of smoke was awful.

“I think they were worried because they had just moved in and the chap could smell the fire. After he checked and realised it wasn't their house he ran outside and saw the smoke coming out.

She added: “She's just so lucky. The services were absolutely brilliant - the fire brigade, ambulance, police - all brilliant.”

Last night a police spokesman said the woman was in a critical but stable condition. The fire is not being treated as suspicious.

David Riddell, Essex Fire and Rescue Service's community safety liaison officer for Uttlesford and Braintree said: “We'd like to, once again, reinforce the issue that a well-maintained, properly working and correctly installed smoke detector is what's going to alert you to a fire in a property.

“In this instance, if a smoke detector had been sited correctly it would have given an early warning and given her a chance to get out of the house sooner.”

He said that anybody in Braintree interested in receiving fire safety advice and having a free smoke detector correctly installed should contact the fire service on 01376 349339.

For more information on fire safety call 0845 601 2495 or visit www.essex-fire.gov.uk.

nMore than 15 firefighters were required to tackle a fire in a semi-detached house yesterday morning after a blaze was started by a tumble dryer.

A first floor bedroom was well alight, but crews from Chelmsford and Great Baddow, wearing breathing apparatus, managed to put out the blaze, which started at about 9am.

They prevented the flames from spreading throughout the property, in Rectory road, Writtle, and causing further damage.

Assistant Divisional Officer Stuart McMillan said: “We are investigating the cause of the fire but at this stage it looks like it was accidental and caused by a tumble dryer.

“Crews did well to confine flames to the room of origin and prevented serious damage.”

A teenage girl in the house at the time was unhurt.

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