Woman rescued from burning house

A WOMAN saved by firefighters in a dramatic rescue from the third floor of a burning building has thanked them for saving her life.The 37-year-old became trapped by smoke and flames in her bedroom after a fire broke out in the bathroom of her Colchester flat in the early hours of yesterday morning.

A WOMAN saved by firefighters in a dramatic rescue from the third floor of a burning building has thanked them for saving her life.

The 37-year-old became trapped by smoke and flames in her bedroom after a fire broke out in the bathroom of her Colchester flat in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Essex fire service received a call from the panic-stricken woman at about 4am saying she was about to climb onto the window ledge of her bedroom, about 30-feet from the ground.

A control room operator calmed the woman, telling her fire crews were just minutes away and that she should close the door and shut the window.


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When crews arrived they placed a ladder up to the window and climbed up to rescue her.

However, firefighters decided it was safer to keep her inside than take her down the ladder, said Station Officer Pete Holding, of Colchester Fire Station.

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A fireman climbed into her room to stay with her, and another firefighter brought her an oxygen cylinder. Meanwhile other members of the crew went into the building, broke down the door of the flat, put out the fire and got rid of some of the smoke. The woman was then led to safety down the stairs.

She was handed over to paramedics who treated her for smoke inhalation before taking her to Colchester General Hospital.

It emerged yesterday the smoke detector in the flat had been covered, preventing it from working.

The woman, who only gave her first name as Joss, was back at her flat at The Avenue, Lexden, to clear up the damage.

She said: “I woke up and I could not work out why it was not daylight and I heard lots of noise and realised the flat was on fire.

“I had left a candle by the bath and I thought it was out - but obviously not, so I rang the fire brigade and they were here within 10 minutes.

“It was all a bit of a shock, but they were brilliant, they really were, and I have just thanked them for what they did for me.”

Two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus fought the fire using a hose reel and crews then spent about 30 minutes damping down.

A spokeswoman for Essex Fire Service said: “The fire service would like to remind members of the public never to leave lit candles in rooms that nobody is in or in rooms where children are on their own and to make sure candles are in secure holders on a surface that does not burn and are away from any materials that could burn.”

Yesterday a fire crew from Colchester's community command returned to the block of flats to hand out safety leaflets, reminding people of the dangers of covering smoke detectors or not even having one.

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