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Woman saved from burning Colchester flat by ‘heroic actions’ of passersby

PUBLISHED: 06:44 02 September 2017 | UPDATED: 06:44 02 September 2017

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Fire engine

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Two hero passersby rescued a woman from her burning Colchester flat last night by stacking wheelie bins so she could escape through the window.

The fire broke out at the woman’s flat in Axial Drive at around 11.20pm and the two male passersby spotted smoke coming from the first floor window.

The two men, one of which was a neigbour and the other was a waste collector working in the area, could see a woman in distress and called 999.

Control operators gave them advice to pass to the woman to keep her safe while fire crews rushed to the scene, but while they were on the phone, they managed to stack wheelie bins together to help the woman escape the blaze.

Ian Ryder, station officer at Colchester Fire Station, said: “When we arrived, the woman was already out of the flat thanks to the heroic actions of the two passersby, and we gave her oxygen therapy while we waiting for the ambulance service.

“We also evacuated six other residents of the block of flat as a precaution while we dealt with the fire.

“Two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus immediately entered the affected flat and managed to extingiush the fire within 10 minutes.

“Several rooms in the flat have been badly damaged by the fire, but firefighters managed to stop the fire spreading to anywhere else in the block.”

An investigation is underway to establish the cause of the fire, but at this stage it is not being treated as suspicious.

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