‘Mummy we’re going to die!’ Great Yarmouth mother describes rescue from smoke-filled room

Tamsin Warnes and her four-year-old son, Jay, had a lucky escape from a flat fire in Hall Plain, Gre

Tamsin Warnes and her four-year-old son, Jay, had a lucky escape from a flat fire in Hall Plain, Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Supplied

A young mother has today hailed as heroes firefighters who came to the rescue of her and her young son, when she woke to the sound of ringing alarms and thick, black smoke.

The flat in Regent Street, Great Yarmouth, which was the scene of a dramatic rescue by firefighters

The flat in Regent Street, Great Yarmouth, which was the scene of a dramatic rescue by firefighters in the early hours of Tuesday morning. - Credit: Archant

Tamsin Warnes had initially thought the sound was her alarm clock, but then became aware of smoke in her room, and heard the sound of her four-year-old son, Jay, screaming 'Mummy we're going to die!' from his bedroom.

She went to get him and, along with her sister, Chelsea – who had stayed the night – tried to get down the stairs to safety, but were turned back by flames. They were eventually plucked from the property in Great Yarmouth by firefighters, some of whom could be affected by proposed cuts.

The situation was so urgent that the firefighter was not even wearing breathing apparatus, so he – along with the family – needed to be taken to the James Paget Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. 'When the fire brigade arrived, the firefighter who rescued us put a ladder up against the window,' said Miss Warnes.

'He didn't have any breathing equipment, which is why he had to come to hospital too, he was a hero.'

Tamsin Warnes and her four-year-old son, Jay, had a lucky escape from a flat fire in Hall Plain, Gre

Tamsin Warnes and her four-year-old son, Jay, had a lucky escape from a flat fire in Hall Plain, Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Supplied

The rescue highlights the life-saving work carried out by the region's fire service, not only on the scene but also in the control room.

Staff stayed on the phone with Miss Warnes, 25, until crews arrived, guiding her in trying to block the door of the bedroom with blankets to stem some of the smoke.

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The family had all been asleep upstairs at the duplex flat in Regent Street when the fire broke out in the early hours of yesterday.

The dramatic events come at a time when a number of Norfolk fire stations could face closure as part of controversial proposals to plug a multi-million pound county council savings gap.

One of the three appliances which attended the fire yesterday morning was from Gorleston fire station, however if cuts to the service were to go ahead, Gorleston station would only be staffed 12 hours a day, with emergency response cover provided by on-call retained firefighters who live within five minutes of the station. Across Norfolk, proposed cuts to the fire service could result in the closure of up to 11 stations.

It would save the local authority £6.95m, but would put more than 13,312 people at risk due to a 11pc decrease to the emergency response standard.

Meanwhile Suffolk County Council aims to save £1.3m from the fire service's £22m budget by 2017/18.

And without a working smoke detector, the outcome of this fire could have been much worse.

Scott Norman, station manager at Carrow fire station, said: 'We were made aware of the fire by smoke detectors, which shows just how important it is to have a detector in working order, particularly this time of year. Without a doubt the smoke detector was a life-saver, and without that it may have been a different situation.'

Although the flat suffered fire damage, the presents Miss Warnes had brought for Christmas were safe, and the family are now hoping they will be home in time for the big day.

'My flat is ruined from top to bottom,' said Miss Warnes. 'But luckily Jay's presents are all safe, and Christmas won't be ruined.'

• Do you have a story about a dramatic escape? Email geraldine.scott@archant.co.uk