Update: Fire crews rescue casualty from Attleborough fire

A heroic homeowner helped to extinguish a neighbour's fire using fire extinguishers before the blaze was able to take hold of the Norfolk home.

A woman was rescued from the property in The Drift at Attleborough shortly after 4pm on Monday before the fire, which was believed to have started in a chip pan, could spread from the kitchen into neighbouring rooms.

The neighbour then rushed in with a fire extinguisher to tackle the fire and stop the flames from spreading, which helped to keep the damage confined to the downstairs kitchen area.

The woman, who was able to walk away from the property, was treated at the scene by ambulance crews from the East of England Ambulance Service for smoke inhalation before being taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for further treatment.

Robert Smith, another neighbour who owns a nearby holiday bungalow, said the other occupant of the house, Colin Smith, who works at Barkers Print and Design in Attleborough, arrived at the scene shortly afterwards to help out.

He added the firefighters and ambulance crews were at the scene for about an hour, but the majority of the smoke damage was confined to the downstairs kitchen.

'The neighbour more or less put out the fire using his fire extinguishers. He has got a lot of fire extinguishers at his house and he just came through and put the flames out,' Mr Smith said.

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He added: 'There is no gas up here. A fire is an extraordinary thing in this area. I think the fire was in the kitchen and that was as far as it went.'

A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service said: 'We were alerted at 4.27pm to a house fire persons reported trapped inside and one ambulance attended the scene. One patient was taken to Norfolk and Norwich Hospital for further care.'

A fire service spokesman said: 'We are sure that in the circumstances he found himself in the man acted on instinct, did what he thought was the right thing and made his assessment in the heat of the moment. Tackling a fire is not something we would recommend.

'We would urge anyone discovering a fire or smoke in their or someone else's property not to enter or attempt to tackle the fire. They should immediately call 999 and ask for the fire and rescue service rather than risk becoming an additional casualty.'

The incident also caused traffic problems in the town and a number of people sent messages to social networking website Twitter asking about the fire.

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