A HERO today spoke about how he tried to save a woman from her burning home.
lake Wilde, 30, broke down the door of his 62-year-old neighbour after she fell asleep in bed with a lit cigarette.
Her bedding was set on fire – filling the bedroom full of smoke.
After unsuccessful efforts to wake the woman from outside her flat on General Street, Blackpool, Mr Wilde forced his way in.
He said: “I ran upstairs to scream there was a fire and then I ran back to kick and bang on the door to try and get her up.
“As soon as I got in I grabbed the fire extinguisher to put the fire out on her duvet, but the smoke got to me and I couldn’t put the rest out.”
The woman was helped out by other neighbours who had all been woken up by the fire alarm at 4am yesterday.
Mr Wilde left to make sure his wife and daughter were safe and evacuated the building.
Lacey Wilde, 22, added: “I was at the top of the stairs and saw what had been done.
“I didn’t care about my home, I just wanted to get my daughter out.”
Fourteen firefighters and three fire engines from Blackpool and Bispham were drafted in to tackle the blaze.
The woman was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital and received treatment for smoke inhalation.
Severe smoke damage was caused to the woman’s flat, but further damage was prevented by the actions of the neighbours.
Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “It was total panic once the alarm started going off. I just grabbed a few things and left.
“We have just had a new alarm system put in.
“Luckily the fire brigade got here before anything bad happened.”
A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said the actions of the neighbours had saved the woman’s life.
He added: “We acknowledge the courage of the people who have done this and understand it has happened because they are concerned for a neighbour, and that is highly commendable.”
But the spokesman warned about the dangerous of breaking into burning buildings.
He said: “The issue of neighbours intervening is a difficult one for us because we don’t want people to be injured in making rescues themselves.
“We wouldn’t advocate it as the right thing to do.”
Stephen Hughes, owner of the Cabby’s Rest cafe on General Street, says the actions of the neighbours in helping the woman did not surprise him.
He said: “In the length of time I’ve been here I have found the neighbours to be friendly and helpful.”