A DAD is in a coma after he was badly burned in a fire in his home.
A 29-year-old man, named locally as Dean Day, was rushed to Sunderland Royal Hospital following a blaze at his semi-detached home in Dunelm Walk, Peterlee.
Mr Day’s 27-year-old partner, named by neighbours as Hayley Evans, was also taken to hospital, believed to have been suffering the effects of smoke inhalation.
Durham Police yesterday described Mr Day’s condition as “potentially life-threatening” after he suffered burns to his face and upper body.
This morning, a police spokesman said Mr Day was in an induced coma in Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in a critical but stable condition.
It is thought the couple have two sons who were said to have been at primary school when the fire broke out in the upstairs of the house.
Four fire crews were sent to tackle the blaze, which saw the property’s roof collapse shortly after firefighters were ordered to get out.
Two fire engines from Peterlee Fire Station, along with one from Durham City and an aerial ladder platform attended the incident, which took place around 1.20pm yesterday.
Richard Morgan, crew manager at Peterlee Fire Station, said: “The couple were outside when we arrived and they were taken to hospital almost immediately as we got there.
“He was suffering burns to his face and upper torso but both were conscious.
“The man went back in to get his dogs, though we did try to stop him going in.”
A man had to be evacuated from the house next door and nearby Essington Way was closed during the incident, which created smoke that could be seen from the A19.
Traffic was diverted along Acre Rigg Road, before Essington Way re-opened around 4pm.
Detectives from Peterlee CID are investigating the incident, although the cause is still unknown.
Karen Nord, 44, was in her house in Basingstoke Road, opposite Dunelm Walk, with daughter Kayleigh Young, 23, when they spotted the smoke.
She said: “We phoned the fire brigade and ran straight over.
“The police car pulled up with two women in it and asked if there was anyone in there, but they were already out.”