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Couple rescue neighbour from burning kitchen

Mill Lane fire

Mill Lane fire

A brave couple rescued a woman with restricted mobility from a burning kitchen after a tumble dryer exploded into flames on Friday.

Fire crews from Hook Norton and Banbury rushed to the home of Daphne Gulliver, in Mill Lane, Shenington, last Friday evening after the blaze took hold in the kitchen.

Mrs Gulliver suffers from a condition which limits her mobility and her husband and son were out when the fire started.

The Gulliver’s neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said he had been coming back from feeding his chickens at the end of the lane shortly before 5pm when his daughter said she thought she could smell sausages cooking.

He said: “I thought nothing of it and walked down to the end of the road to pick up the bins and saw flames flickering in the kitchen window. I took my daughter back into our house, then knocked on the door and there was no answer, so I opened the door and the lady was standing there with smoke and flames all around her.”

He continued: “I took her out into the garden and went to get a couple of tea towels to help put out the fire.

“When I got back to the house she had gone back inside.”

The rescuer’s wife, who also did not wish to be named, then had to brave the growing flames to rescue Mrs Gulliver a second time.

She said: “I went back in to get her out.

“She was standing just inside the kitchen screaming so I grabbed her and pulled her out.

“It was a narrow fire but the flames were two thirds of the way up the wall and black smoke was up to a much higher level.”

The neighbours praised the fire service who were able to rescue the family’s dog, a King Charles Spaniel called Teddy, and quickly extinguish the fire with hose reels before ventilating the property.

“They were a well-oiled machine. They knew exactly what they were doing and they all had a role, it was quite impressive,” they said.

Mrs Gulliver was taken to hospital with smoke inhalation but has since been discharged.

The kitchen was destroyed by the fire with extensive smoke damage to the rest of the property and it is unlikely the family will be able to return home before Christmas.

 

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