How firefighters rescued man trapped in Lowestoft house fire

House fire on Seago Street in Lowestoft. Picture by Nathan Lawrence

House fire on Seago Street in Lowestoft. Picture by Nathan Lawrence - Credit: Nathan Lawrence

Firefighters burst into a burning home to rescue a 62-year-old man trapped in a devastating house fire.

The scene of the fire in Seago Street, Lowestoft. Pictures: ANDREW PAPWORTH

The scene of the fire in Seago Street, Lowestoft. Pictures: ANDREW PAPWORTH - Credit: Archant

Firefighters burst into a burning home to rescue a 62-year-old man trapped in a devastating house fire.

Neighbours were first awoken by the smell of smoke coming from the property in Seago Street, Lowestoft, shortly after one of the occupants had reportedly gone to work at about 5am yesterday (Thursday, November 17).

When Phil Smith, who lives a few doors down, got up to have a look, he said: 'I looked out of the window and saw the flames. They were shooting out of the front.'

Still dressed in his pyjamas, he ran outside with no footwear and started banging on neighbours' doors to warn them to get out.

The scene of the fire in Seago Street, Lowestoft. Pictures: ANDREW PAPWORTH

The scene of the fire in Seago Street, Lowestoft. Pictures: ANDREW PAPWORTH - Credit: Archant


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When he got to Hollie Moore's house directly next to the terraced property on fire, he was forced to duck behind a brick wall separating the two properties because of the heat of the flames. Mr Smith and fellow neighbours, father and son Malcolm and Thomas Gladwin, then teamed up to see if they could get into the fire-ridden property, which by now was billowing thick black smoke from the front window

Holding a flashlight to see what they were doing in a darkened street, they lifted Mr Gladwin Jnr above the back wall to see if they could get inside – but the fire was too strong.

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Two fire engines from Lowestoft South and another from Lowestoft North soon arrived and spoke to neighbours gathered outside, who told them a man was trapped inside

Watch commander Steve Mullen said: 'Thick black smoke was coming out of the front window and neighbours made us aware there was someone inside. We forced the door open and put two firefighters in with breathing apparatus. Our focus was on saving a life. He was downstairs in the back room. They picked him up and carried him out.'

While the casualty was treated on the pavement outside, crews continued to fight the blaze.

'He was very, very, very lucky,' Mr Mullen said of the casualty, who was unconscious when rescued and taken to the James Paget University Hospital with smoke inhalation. He was in a stable condition last night.

'If we had been a couple of minutes later, it could've been very different consequences.'

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