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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Hero braves house fire to rescue trapped pensioner

A Maryport pensioner was rescued from her burning house by a member of the public in the early hours of yesterday.

mportfire1810
SCENE OF THE FIRE: The house on Camp Street, Maryport, where a pensioner was trapped

People living nearby said a man, believed to be in his 40s, battled “hellish conditions” to enter the house on Camp Street and rescue the woman who was trapped inside.

Neighbours said there were flames and thick, acrid smoke billowing from the property.

A neighbour said the man, with a wet towel wrapped around his face, entered the burning house through a connecting door from the neighbouring property.

Sharon Phillips, 62, said she understood that he had fought his way through the blaze to the elderly woman and dragged her out.

A police spokeswoman said that the man, who has not been named, suffered superficial burns, while the elderly woman, believed to be in her late 80s or early 90s, was treated for smoke inhalation.

It is understood from other neighbours that the elderly woman is the mother of the occupant of the house, who was away overnight, and the people in the connecting house included the woman’s daughters who were looking after her.

Mrs Phillips said she was woken by the noise at just before 2.30am.

She said: “I rushed out to help. Another neighbour was there too, and a man called Kevin who lives on North Street.

“He is right at the other end of North Street but was woken by the smell.”

Mrs Phillips said the trio had tried to get into the house from the front door but were beaten back by the smoke and heat.

She added: “When the man got the woman out of the inferno I tried to comfort her and wrapped her in my dressing gown.

“She was lucky to be alive.”

The man is understood to be in the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

The pensioner was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

Fire crews from Maryport, Workington and Cockermouth arrived after the woman had been rescued.

The two-storey building was well alight and firefighters tackled the blaze before ventilating the property using a high-pressure fan.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is being carried out, but police said there were not thought to be any suspicious circumstances.

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