Two members of the public have been given chief fire officer commendations for bravery by the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service in recognition of their efforts to save an elderly woman from a house fire last year.
On 22nd October 2012, a fire broke out in the property of 85 year old Mary Nerval. Alerted by smoke alarms, neighbour Stephen Eggleton went into the burning and smoke filled house in Victoria Road, Newport, and found the homeowner lying injured on the floor.
He left the property and went to his neighbour Phillip Pearce. Together they entered the house which by now was in thick smoke with visible flames within the room where Mary Nerval was lying. Together, they pulled her from the burning property into a nearby neighbours address to seek immediate medical attention.
Although Mary sadly passed away two weeks later, she may have died on that night had it not been for the efforts of her neighbours.
Steve Apter, the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service chief fire officer said:
“The elderly homeowner was partially blind and 85 years old at the time of the incident. She was helpless, injured and stranded on her floor overcome by thick smoke.
“We are also presenting a letter of appreciation to Rona Jackson, who was one of Mary’s neighbours. She took it upon herself as a caring neighbour to contact the Isle of Wight Fire Service months before the fire to arrange for smoke alarms to be fitted. Without these smoke alarms in place there would have been no audible warning to alert neighbours of this fire.
“We feel it is only right we recognise the lengths these neighbours when to on that night in October 2012, and presenting these certificates and letter is one way of doing that.”
More information about the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service, including tips and advice for staying safe in the home, can be found at www.iwight.com.
Photo: Isle of Wight Council