Children praise cops for mother’s rescue

Published: November 23, 2005 | 2805th good news item since 2003

The children of a 62-year-old Doncaster woman rescued from her burning home overnight have praised police for saving her life.

Dianne Evangelou, who lived alone in the D’arcy Street unit, was rescued by three police officers just after 3.30am. [Police Heroes: True Stories of Courage About America’s Brave Men, Women, and K-9 Officers]

She suffered smoke inhalation and second-degree burns to her hands and left leg in the fire, and is recovering at The Alfred hospital.

Her son, Tony Evangelou, was woken by police about 4am. He said he was extremely grateful to the three officers.

“Apparently the police broke a window and got her out, so I praise them because she wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for them,” he said this morning.

Mr Evangelou visited his mother this morning and said she had woken up in the middle of the night, felt the heat of the fire but did not remember anything else.

“She has no idea. She went to bed and woke up in the back of an ambulance.”

One of the police involved in the rescue, Detective Sergeant Scott Poynder from Doncaster Criminal Investigation Unit, said the rescue team was alerted by a passer-by who told them they could smell smoke near the Doncaster Hotel.

“The uniform boys came across a unit that was on fire and you could see a fire in the loungeroom and a large amount of smoke. We smashed a window at the front and opened the front door,” said Detective Sergeant Poynder.

He said when he went inside the unit Ms Evangelou, who had been sleeping, was distressed.

“She was disoriented, suffering burns on her hands, arms, feet and legs and dressed in a nightie,” he said.

The police carried her out of the building through the back door.

Other officers involved in the rescue were Constable Christopher Jaques and Senior Constable Geoff Webb.

Ms Evangelou’s daughter Kim Mesaritis also praised police for saving a “great grandmother and a great parent”.

She said doctors were still evaluating her mother’s condition.

“We’re not sure how she’s doing yet so we have to wait, so it’s very distressing.”

Published in Rescues
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