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Firefighters praise heroic neighbours after cigarette blaze in Audenshaw

Borough: Tameside

Incident Date: 15 March 2016

A HERO neighbour has been praised by firefighters after going to the rescue of a woman who suffered a house fire.

The fire is believed to have started after the woman was smoking in bed and fell asleep – causing smoke and flames to spread through the bedroom.

A crew from Ashton and Hyde were called to the blaze on Haughton Street, Audenshaw, just before 9pm on Tuesday, March 15, and were met by neighbours at the scene.

Scott Copeland, aged 42, had been alerted to the fire and immediately went to help before crew arrived. Using a ladder he climbed up to the bedroom window, smashed the glass and alerted the woman.

He said: “Another neighbour alerted me after hearing the smoke alarm and asked for my help, so I grabbed my ladder and was shocked to see smoke pouring from the window.

“I smashed the window with a brick and told the woman to get out but she was very disoriented. Luckily the fire service were there very quickly and thanked me for my help.”

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Firefighters tackled the blaze using a hose reel and a jet and managed to contain the fire to the bedroom, which prevented any further damage to the house.

They rescued the 52-year-old woman from the bedroom and she was immediately treated by trauma technicians who gave CPR and treated her burns before leaving the woman in the hands of paramedics.

She is now in hospital and is believed to be in a serious condition.

Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor David Acton, said: “We do hope this woman makes a full recovery and it’s thanks to the quick response of firefighters and the brave actions of the neighbour that we were able to rescue her and get her help.  

“The incident shows just how dangerous it is to smoke in bed and I would urge people to never smoke in bed and always ensure smoking materials are out before discarding them.

“Scott did a brilliant job in alerting the woman to the fire and attempting to get her out, but we urge people never to enter a burning building and always wait for the fire service.

“The incident also highlights the importance of having a working smoke alarm as this alerted neighbours to the fire and allowed them to get help as quickly as possible.”

Firefighters will be in the area providing reassurance to residents and highlighting the importance of working smoke alarms.

For information about our free Safe and Well visits, or for further advice, visit www.manchesterfire.gov.uk or phone 0800 555 815.

Last update: 23/03/2016 08:19:21
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