Woman in Beccles dies in fire despite heroic rescue attempt

A woman has died in Beccles after a fire in her bungalow.

The woman, in her 50s, was pulled from her house, in Ellough Road, by a father and son who live nearby, but she later died at the scene.

Father and son Andrew and Raymond Masters, who run a plastering business together, said they were driving home from a job when they were flagged down by a doctor who was standing outside the house, at around 12.30pm yesterday [Friday January 27].

Disregarding their own safety, the two jumped out of their van and ran into the bungalow to help the woman.

Andrew Masters, 46, of Castle Hill, said: 'It was just instinct. My son went diving in and I followed.'


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His son Raymond, 25, who also lives on Ellough Road, said he lifted the top of his jumper over his nose as he ran into the smoke-filled bungalow.

He said: 'I was in before I knew about it, as soon as he said someone was in there.'

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Raymond, who is a father of three, went straight into the front room, where the doctor had said she was, and found the woman lying on the floor. The two said they did not see any flames, just smoke and they struggled for oxygen as they dragged her from the building.

Andrew, a father of five, said: 'It was just a split second thing, to go and get the person out. You just do what you've got to do.'

Together they were able to pull the woman out. At the time she was unconscious but the doctor confirmed she had a pulse.

Andrew added: 'We just wanted to get her out and did all we could. It is sad to hear what has happened.'

Tim Bray, Suffolk Fire and Rescue watch commander, said the fire crews had thanked the men for what they had done when they arrived.

The police, fire and ambulance services had all been called to the house shortly after 12.30pm.

Fire crews from Beccles, Bungay and Lowestoft South attended, while the East of England ambulance crew called for the air ambulance to be sent.

It arrived at around 1.15pm and landed on the field of nearby Beccles Middle School.

However the woman died at the scene.

Neighbours said that the woman lived alone at the house with her cat, which also died in the fire.

She is believed to have sisters living locally and had been suffering from poor health, having recently been in hospital.

It is believed the fire started from a cigarette and a police spokesman said there are not thought to be any suspicious circumstances.

richard.wood@archant.co.uk

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