Milkman rescues woman from blaze
Published: May 25, 2007 | 6288th good news item since 2003
A milkman has saved a pensioner from her blazing house in County Durham.
Dennis Hinchcliffe, 65, was loading his milk van in the early hours of Thursday when he smelt smoke coming from the 78-year-old’s home in Barnard Castle.
Seeing flames at a window, he banged on the woman’s front door and then pulled her from the smoke filled hallway.
The woman, who has not been named, was taken to hospital with suffering smoke inhalation. Her home, in Galgate, was severely damaged by the fire.
Mr Hinchcliffe said: “I know the old girl very well, and I shouted are you there.
“She replied ‘I’m here’ and I just pulled her out – she was up and dressed.
“The lady had fallen asleep in front of the fire and somehow it had spread.
“She seemed all right and she was wanting to show the fire brigade where her kitchen was so they could get some water, I told her they’ve brought their own.”
Steve Wharton, assistant community fire safety manager, said the pensioner’s terraced home could now be demolished as its roof had collapsed and the internal structure totally destroyed.
He said: “Structural engineers from the fire service and county council will examine the external walls and make an assessment.
“I would suspect that the house might have to be demolished.”
Durham Police said the fire, which took firefighters five hours to extinguish, was not being treated as suspicious.