Pensioner saved from Great Yarmouth flat fire

AN 80-year-old man was rescued from his smoke-filled flat in Great Yarmouth after an oil pan caught alight.

Two fire engines set off from Yarmouth fire station to Herries Close at 9.15am this morning after receiving a call from the pensioner, who had called the service from his bed.

On reaching the scene, the team of ten set about forcing entry through the patio doors using a sledge hammer, with two in breathing apparatus rescuing the man from his bedroom.

Locked doors, for which a key could not be found, were then broken to ventilate the property.

Alan Jay, watch manager at Yarmouth fire station, said: 'The team brought him to an area of safety within the porch, which had fresh air, and we put him onto a spine board where he was then taken by ambulance to hospital.'

The small oil pan fire, which had started in a cooker in a kitchen, was put out using hose reel jets.

Mr Jay added: 'At the end of the day smoke will kill you eventually if you don't get out quick enough. He was definitely in harm's way.'

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At the time of going to press, the 80-year-old was said to be recovering at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston.

Following the rescue, head of community safety at Norfolk Fire Service Stuart Horth put out an appeal to those who may be at risk.

'We don't want what happened today to happen again,' he said, 'and we've got real concerns at the moment because the people who have died in accidents or fires in their homes in the last five years have been old people frequently with some form of disability or medical condition.'

He asked for people in similar situations, or anyone who knew them, to contact the fire service for a free home fire risk check.

To get the free check, call Norfolk Fire Service on 0800 9178137 or go to www.norfolkfireservice.gov.uk.

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