Youngsters praised for fire rescue

A 15-YEAR-OLD girl and a 12-year-old boy have been praised by firefighters after they rescued their younger sisters from a fire that broke out in their Colchester home.

Roddy Ashworth

A 15-YEAR-OLD girl and a 12-year-old boy have been praised by firefighters after they rescued their younger sisters from a fire that broke out in their Colchester home.

Chelsee Firkins and her brother Aston were babysitting their sisters, aged 12 and six, and taking care of the family's two pet dogs in a mid-terraced house in Alefounder Close when fire broke out in the kitchen at around 7pm on Saturday.

And when Aston heard a loud beeping sound he immediately stepped into action and went to investigate.

Station Officer Costa Olymbios, the Incident Commander, said: “Aston was alerted by a smoke alarm and at first thought it was the TV.

“But he had his wits about him and checked around the house and saw it was a fire.

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“Then he and his sister Chelsee did absolutely the right thing.

“They got their sisters out of the house and closed the doors on the way through to prevent spread.”

The pair then took their sisters to their grandmother's house nearby and raised the alarm.

Firefighters from Colchester and Wivenhoe used breathing apparatus to confront the fire which was put out by around 7.35pm. They used a thermal image camera to assist them.

They then ventilated the property before leaving the scene.

The blaze destroyed 90% of the kitchen area and the rest of the house suffered from smoke damage.

Aston and Chelsee suffered the affects of smoke inhalation so firefighters gave them oxygen therapy while waiting for Ambulance Service paramedics to arrive.

The youngsters were checked over and did not need hospital treatment.

Mr Olymbios added: “They stayed calm and behaved sensibly and deserve a lot of praise for their actions.

“Fortunately we were returning from a grass fire and spotted the smoke as we were returning to the station, so we were quickly on the scene.

“Although the fire was confined to the kitchen the property is uninhabitable and so the couple and their four children were unable to stay there but are being looked after by relatives.”