Firefighters praised for rescuing family from blaze

Pictured is Paul Hirst,with the Chip Pan that caught fire at his home in Scraith Wood Drive,Shirecliffe
Pictured is Paul Hirst,with the Chip Pan that caught fire at his home in Scraith Wood Drive,Shirecliffe
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Firefighters have been praised by a Sheffield family they rescued from their smoke-filled flat.

Crew members forced their way into the ground floor flat on Scraith Wood Drive, Shirecliffe, at 10.30pm on Sunday after receiving a 999 call from the property.

Rachel Hirst, aged 23, discovered the kitchen fire and raised the alarm.

When firefighters arrived at the flat they found her slumped on the kitchen floor.

Her parents Paul and Lesley Hirst were asleep in bed and unaware a chip pan had caught fire in their kitchen – filling their lounge with smoke.

Rachel, who was taken to hospital after her ordeal, said she tried to wake her parents but was unable to rouse them.

She said she remembers nothing else other than waking up in hospital yesterday morning.

Firefighters smashed their way into the flat through a glass door and removed the smoking chip pan.

They then carried Rachel outside into the fresh air, where she was given oxygen at the scene before paramedics took her to hospital.

Firefighters led Paul and Lesley to safety after waking them from their sleep.

Today the trio praised firefighters from Rivelin, Elm Lane and Central fire stations who responded to the call for help.

Lesley, 53, said: “The firefighters who came could not have done any more – they were very thorough.

“The first thing we knew was hearing some knocking and the next thing there were firefighters inside.

“We wondered what was going on. They carried Rachel out on a stretcher.

“They were marvellous. After getting the call they probably panicked thinking that we were all trapped inside so they smashed the door to get into us.

“They deserve thanks for coming to rescue us.”

Rachel, who was allowed home from hospital yesterday morning, said: “I was in my bedroom listening to music and went into the kitchen to get a drink.

“There was smoke everywhere and the chip pan was on fire.

“I dialled 999 and was shouting but nobody heard me.

“I must have passed out because the next thing I remember is waking up in hospital on a drip and with a mask over my face.”

A fire service spokesman said: “Firefighters forced entry to the property on Scraith Wood Drive, at around 10.30pm on Sunday.

“Inside they found a woman in her 20s face down in the kitchen and a man and woman asleep.

“The younger woman was carried to safety by firefighters where she was given oxygen and taken to hospital by ambulance. The older couple were led to safety, but did not attend hospital.

“Firefighters put out the fire in the chip pan but although the house was smoke logged, there was no fire damage.”

Watch Manager Andy Hinchley said: “It’s not an exaggeration to say that this incident could easily have been far more serious for the occupants. It is another example of how unsafe chip pans and hot oil pans can be.”