UPDATE: Hero neighbour helps rescue pensioners in house blaze

Firefighters at the scene of the blaze in Walesbeech, Furnace Green. Photo: Eddie Howland SUS-160913-095403001
Firefighters at the scene of the blaze in Walesbeech, Furnace Green. Photo: Eddie Howland SUS-160913-095403001

A hero neighbour kicked down the door of a burning house in a bid to rescue two women after a devastating fire at a Furnace Green home.

Firefighters were called to Walesbeech at about 6pm on Monday (September 12) after a blaze broke out in the ground floor of a property.

Firemen at the scene of the blaze in Walesbeech, Furnace Green. Photo: Eddie Howland SUS-160913-110643001

Firemen at the scene of the blaze in Walesbeech, Furnace Green. Photo: Eddie Howland SUS-160913-110643001

Flames destroyed the ground floor and smoke was seen billowing out of the house for hours.

The householder, a woman in her 80s, was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and taken to hospital for further checks.

Neighbour Michelle Fassam said a man from the house next door went rushing to save the woman as soon as the blaze broke out.

She said: “He had gone round the back and kicked down the gate, kicked down the door, and gone in thinking she was in there. Luckily she had already got out.

“There was black smoke coming from the top of the house. There was a funny smell, and then you just heard this bang. It went through the back of the house and it all went up.

“It was really devastating. It was terribly shocking to see just how quickly a house can go up.”

Eileen Collinson, 87, was eating her dinner in the house next door when the fire started.

She said the hero neighbour helped her as well.

She said: “He came rushing in for me. I have never been out of my door so fast.”

He sat her in a chair away from the flames. She said she felt helpless as she watched crews fight the blaze.

“There was black smoke and flames coming out of the back.

“It was billowing out and then you heard the crack as the window went.

“I feel very sorry for her. I would not wish this on anybody.”

The man was also treated at the scene for smoke inhalation but did not require hospital treatment.

Firefighters spent serval hours fighting the flames.

Crews used six breathing apparatus, two high pressure hose reels and a covering jet to extinguish the flames.

As well as the damage to the ground floor the fire service said the first floor was 70 per cent damaged by smoke. No other homes were affected.

A fire service spokesman said a television is believed to have caused the blaze.

The daughter of the owner, who asked not to be named, told the Observer her mother was recovering well.

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