Woman leaps from window to escape blaze

A WIFE jumped around 20ft from the bedroom window of her burning home before returning with a ladder to help save her husband.The Christmas morning drama unfolded in a thatched cottage in Fornham All Saints, near Bury St Edmunds, and family members said yesterday the couple had been saved by a smoke alarm.

A WIFE jumped around 20ft from the bedroom window of her burning home before returning with a ladder to help save her husband.

The Christmas morning drama unfolded in a thatched cottage in Fornham All Saints, near Bury St Edmunds, and family members said yesterday the couple had been saved by a smoke alarm.

Andrew and Isobel Thompson were sleeping in an upstairs room of their cottage in Hengrave Road when the fire tore through their living room and started spreading to the first floor.

When they were woken by the alarm, the strength of the flames stopped them from escaping via the stairs, and Mrs Thompson dramatically leapt around 20ft from her bedroom window to safety.


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She then found a ladder, which she put to the window, allowing her husband to also flee the property.

Both were later taken to the West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, suffering with smoke inhalation and Mr Thompson also has minor burns.

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Fire crews from Bury St Edmunds, Ixworth and Elmswell arrived at the scene at around 3.30am on Christmas morning and managed to prevent the fire from destroying the historic cottage.

The blaze has caused thousands of pounds of internal damage and destroyed most of the couple's belongings.

Yesterday Mr Thompson's parents, Ian and Laura, who have rushed from their London home to help the couple, said they were relieved the incident didn't turn out to be more serious.

Mr Thompson's father said: "This was a very close call, I dread to think of what might have happened if that smoke alarm had not gone off because they only had a matter of minutes before the fire would have reached the bedroom.

"Isobel jumped from the window and managed to alert the emergency service and find a ladder to get Andrew out.

"The emergency services were brilliant, but I think it was really the smoke alarm that saved their lives. Both are now recovering in hospital, they will be fine, but I suspect it will be a few days before they come home."

His wife added: "They had a very lucky escape. We have cancelled Christmas this year because the fire has caused thousands of pounds worth of damage and destroyed most of their belongings."

An investigation into the exact cause of the incident has not yet been completed, but it is not believed to be suspicious.

Both Mr and Mrs Thompson were said to be in a comfortable condition in hospital last night.

Meanwhile, four fire crews from Bury, Ixworth and Elmswell were called to deal with a fire at another thatched-cottage at Sandpit Farm, Walsham le Willows in the early hours of Boxing Day.

People at the farm refused to comment yesterday, but the fire caused extensive damage to the inside of the cottage.

Fire crews also tackled a bedroom fire at an address in Lower Street, Higham, on Christmas Eve. It broke out just after 9.20pm but was quickly brought under control.

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