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Teen and her dog save day in Thorpe St Andrew fire drama

PUBLISHED: 18:32 25 January 2011

Danielle Davey and her dog Scooby near house on Hillcrest Road, where she witnessed a fire last night. Dog Scooby first raised the alarm.

Danielle Davey and her dog Scooby near house on Hillcrest Road, where she witnessed a fire last night. Dog Scooby first raised the alarm.

©Archant Photographic 2011

A teenager who called the fire brigade to a serious blaze after being alerted by her dog has been praised for her quick thinking and life-saving actions.

Danielle Davey, 18, a Norwich City College student, awoke in the early hours of yesterday morning – and alerted by her pet border collie, discovered that a house across the road was being ravaged by fire.

Despite being panicked by what she saw, the health and social care student called the fire brigade about the fire at the semi-detached bungalow in Hillcrest Road, off Gordon Avenue, Thorpe St Andrew, before running outside to offer help at the scene.

She said: “I heard a bang and didn’t think anything of it and then my dog Scooby went over to the window and started barking. I looked out and saw the fire. When I looked out there was fire coming out of the window.

“When I was on the phone to the fire brigade there was a further explosion – there was just smoke everywhere.”

Miss Davey, who works part-time at the Sainsbury’s store at Pound Lane, Thorpe, then went out to get her neighbours across the road, Bob and Pauline Williamson, to see if they could assist.

She said: “I was just trying to get the next door neighbour out – she was just standing in her doorway.”

Fire crews from Sprowston, Norwich, Earlham and the aerial ladder platform from Earlham were quickly on scene to tackle the blaze which broke out shortly after 12.50am yesterday.

Police and ambulance crews also attended the incident with a paramedic from the Norwich Critical Care Car treating a
35-year-old man for burns to his throat, smoke inhalation and hypothermia.

The man, who has not been named, was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where his condition has been described as stable.

The house has been cordoned off as an investigation into the cause of the fire is carried out by investigators.

A spokesman for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service has commended Miss Davey’s swift thinking and said it might have averted what was already a very serious incident from being much worse.

He said: “We’re full of praise for her actions. With any kind of fire the sooner we can get there the less chance there is of someone being injured or killed.

“The crucial thing is not to assume that someone else has called. She did exactly the right thing. Her swift actions might have prevented what was already a very serious incident from having the potential to be much worse.”

But Miss Davey said: “I don’t consider myself to be a hero. I just hope he’s alright.”

Her mother, Wendy Davey, 45, said: “I’m proud of her.”

The fire has shocked people living nearby to the house, many of whom tried to help as the drama unfolded in the early hours.

Mrs Williamson, 63, said it was Danielle that had alerted her and her husband Bob to the fire, and that her husband shouted under the door to try to wake the occupants. He also opened the door of the burning house, allowing a pet dog to run to safety. She said firefighters later brought the second dog out and the two petrified animals then stayed with the Williamson’s overnight.

A 30-year-old neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “There was just a loud bang at about 1am and the out house was all on fire.”

An elderly couple, one in their 70s and the other in their 80s, living on the road said it was a “real shock” to be awoken in the early hours by the fire.

A spokesman for Norfolk police confirmed officers also attended the incident. He said: “All persons were accounted for and a male casualty was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation. The man remains in hospital where his condition is described as stable.

“Residents were evacuated from neighbouring properties as a precaution. Police and fire officers are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.”

• Did you know the man involved in the incident? Or have your swift actions helped avert a tragedy? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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