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Pensioner saved from burning flat in Branksome
A PENSIONER was rescued from her burning flat.
Residents at a block of flats in Poole peered through their partially-sighted neighbour’s letterbox to find her flat was completely smoke logged and dialled 999.
They did not know if the woman was at home so firefighters kicked the door in at the flats in Branksome and found her stood at her window trying to breathe in some air.
Amelia Meech, a neighbour at the Stour Court flats in Princess Road, rang the emergency services.
She said: “Smoke started coming out of the letterbox.
“I looked through the letterbox and could not see a thing and I was calling out to her but the hallway was filling up with smoke.”
Firefighters arrived from Westbourne , Springbourne and Redhill when the blaze started at lunchtime yesterday.
Neighbours told the Daily Echo the woman is believed to be aged in her 80s.
Firefighters also saved the woman’s black cat while a chair and patch of carpet was left fire damaged.
Winnie Irvine, 80, started to smell the smoke at the block, which has 68 flats.
She said: “Her flat was full of smoke and we were not sure if she was away at her sister’s.
“I lifted the letterbox too and saw it was full of smoke so I said ‘come on let’s get out of here’.
“They got her out in a wheelchair.”
Norma Stanley, 72, went around knocking doors to alert neighbours to the fire.
She said: “The stairs on one side were full of smoke so we had to go to the other end of the building.
“If that side had been full of smoke too there would’ve been no way out.”
Doug Winborn, crew manager at Westbourne, said the elderly woman was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene before being taken to hospital. We were not sure if there was anyone in the flat,” he said.
“I kicked the door in and could not see anyone because it was full of smoke.”
Mr Winborn said four firefighters went in with breathing apparatus.
He added: “They found her pretty much straight away as she was standing up by the window.
“Then we went back in to find her cat.”
Mr Winborn said the woman’s smoke alarm was not working and the cause of the fire was being investigated.