Woman, 91, rescued from blaze

FIRE chiefs have stressed the importance of having working alarms after rescuing a 91-year-old from a house fire that they say could have proved fatal.

Two fire crews from Stockton and one from Billingham were sent to the semi-detached home of the wheelchair-bound woman, in Rochester Road, Billingham, at around 1.25pm yesterday.

After gaining entry through an open back door, firefighters wearing breathing apparatus found the woman in a smoke-logged dining room.

She was treated with oxygen at the scene before being taken by ambulance to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, after suffering from smoke inhalation and shock.

Watch manager Davey Veitch, of Stockton Fire Station, said the cause of the fire was an overloaded tumble drier and added: “Working smoke alarms in the property prevented further destruction of the property and a possible fatality.

“The woman has been lucky in that the smoke alarm went off, which alerted her, and she got CallCare out.

“There is a significant amount of vulnerable people in the community and we would like to think that people are on the lookout for them.

“I would like to stress that it is really important that people don’t overload tumble driers and they should check the filters on a regular basis.”