Neighbours Rescue Woman From Fire

4 July 2011, 11:55 | Updated: 5 July 2011, 11:57

Neighbours who rescued a mum, trapped on the top floor of her three-storey home by a fire, have been praised by firefighters.

Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service say what the neighbours did in Shearmans, Fullers Slade, Milton Keynes in the early hours of Sunday 3 July 2011 was a "remarkable act of bravery."

The neighbours put a ladder up to a window of the woman's home and pulled her out.  They had been woken up by her cries for help at 2.45am.  The woman - named by neighbours as Monica - had been woken up by a working smoke alarm she had on her middle floor.

She was injured, and it's understood she had to go to hospital suffering the effects of breathing in smoke, but has since been discharged.

Gavin Sweeny heard Monica's screams and ran out of his house to help.

"I didn't think.  I just done.  I just done what any normal person should or would've done.  A house can be replaced but a life you can't replace," he said.

"The real hero is Monica herself for what's she's gone through and to come out of that three-storey house on a ladder.  I'm scared of heights, there's no way I would have waited for the fire brigade to come and I'd have been a gonner if that had've been me."

Area Manager Mick Osborne said: "This was a remarkable act of bravery by her neighbours, and another reminder of the vital importance of smoke alarms.

"Upon arrival, crews were faced with a well-developed fire on the first and second floors. The staircase at these levels had been destroyed by the fire.

"Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the property to fight the fire and carry out a search of the premises using a thermal imaging camera.

"The fire was completely under control by 5.30am and crews remained on scene for a considerable time afterwards, damping down and checking there had been no further spread of fire to adjacent properties.

"The attending crews did an excellent job in bringing the fire under control and ensuring there was minimal damage to the houses either side in very difficult and challenging circumstances."

Firefighters think the fire started accidentally, but an investigation's underway to determine exactly what caused it.

Firefighters from Great Holm, Broughton and Bletchley were called out to deal with the fire.  It comes just over a month after a man died in a fire in another house in the same street.  That fire isn't being treated as suspicious.