Woman escapes ‘intense’ gas blaze drama

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A woman’s life was saved by her fire alarm as a ‘very very intense’ gas fire ravaged her Dunstable home last week.

The fire broke out at about 11am on Tuesday, February 12, when a portable gas heater came into contact with a combustable material – believed to be a sheet – in the terraced house in West Street.

Two fire engines from Dunstable attended the blaze and breathing apparatus was used. About 70 per cent of the ground floor was affected and the house is smoke damaged throughout.

Beds Fire spokesman Neil Thompson said: “This was a very very intense fire that developed very quickly.”

He also said that the incident illustrated the importance of having a smoke alarm.

He told the Gazette: “The woman’s fire alarm alerted her to the fire and she wable to leave her house quickly and safely.

“We would urge all residents to make sure they have a working smoke alarm fitted, as well as an escape plan in place in case of fire.

“We can also ffer free Home Safety Checks to residents, with priority given to vulnerable, disabled or elderly people.”

The woman’s next-door neighbour told the Gazette: “We heard sounds of distress and the woman ran into her back garden but was very flustered and panicked, so I phoned 999.

“Firefighters were here in about five minutes, luckily they’re just down the street.

“She was looked after by neighbours across the road while the fireman dealt with her house. She was very lucky.”

The neighbour said he believes the woman is staying with her partner’s mum until the house is habitable again.