Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service Press Release

Elderly woman kept safe by Fire Control before being rescued from fire in bungalow

Fire crews from Cheltenham rescued an elderly woman from a house fire in Charlton Kings last night.

The woman called Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service at 1.26am after seeing smoke and fire in the kitchen of her bungalow at 6 Willow Road.

As the woman had mobility issues, she was unable to leave the property. Ben Slatter from Fire Control provided her with reassurance and safety advice in the few minutes before firefighters from the two Cheltenham stations arrived at the scene.

He was able to guide her as close to the front door of the property as possible and to advise her to stay low to the floor to avoid the worst of the smoke.

When fire crews arrived, they were then able to quickly lead her to safety and she was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation by paramedics.

Station Commander Nathan Bishop said: "While this was only a small fire, the property was heavily smoke logged and it would have been a frightening situation for the elderly woman concerned."

"Thankfully, Ben did an excellent job of keeping her calm and reassuring her that we were only minutes away. We were then able to help the lady to safety on our arrival before quickly extinguishing the fire and minimise the damage to the rest of the property."

Firefighters used one hose reel and four breathing apparatus to tackle the fire, which is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault in the cooker.

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, Cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: "Our Fire Control staff are vital in our emergency response and provide such an important service in those few minutes before crews arrive at an incident. That is especially important for the most vulnerable people in our communities."

For more information on fire safety at home or at work, go to or or to arrange a visit, call 0800 180 4140.

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Issued by: Emma Smith, Gloucestershire County Council Media Team, 07747 898064

6th July 2013