Dog saves residents from blaze
Tiny Yorkshire terrier Skip has been praised after his frantic barking woke his owners as flames licked against their front door in a suspected arson attack.
It meant they were able to alert other residents of the three-story block of flats in School Street, Syston, getting everyone to safety.
Skip’s agitated barking at about 2:15am yesterday woke his owners, Andrew and Teresa Tebbutt.
Andrew, 44, who lives in a ground floor flat, said: “The dog was going hysterical. I looked through the peephole in the door and all I could see was flames.
“I was panicky and frightened. My wife is registered disabled and at first I didn’t know how we were going to get out.”
He phoned 999 and said the handler had helped enormously.
“The chap I was talking to when I called the fire brigade was great, he kept us calm and told us everything was going to be okay.
“He told us what to do and was very calm. He told us not to open the window, but I had no choice, it was our only way out.
“The fire service told us Skip did a great job in waking us up. If it wasn’t for him we might not have got out. He seems okay now, but we’ve been told to keep an eye on him.”
Once the couple got out, they went around banging on the windows of the other flats and shouting to people to get out.
Teresa, 45, said: “I just want to cry all the time because it’s scared me. I’m asthmatic and I couldn’t breathe in the flat, but we had to get out because it was getting hot.”
A woman who lives on the top floor, but asked not to be named, said: “I was fast asleep when I was woken up by shouting. I jumped out of bed and ran to the front door, but I closed it quickly as the corridor was pitch black and full of smoke.
“I ran to the bedroom window and contemplated jumping out, but I would have hurt myself.
“I grabbed two pillow cases and put them over my mouth and nose so I would not breathe in too much smoke and made my way downstairs.
“I felt I had to get out because I didn’t know how bad it was going to get.
“Some people in a flat below me were rescued by the fire brigade using a ladder.
“I’m just glad I’m alive – it could have been so much worse.”
Firefighters rescued a number of people from the flats using ladders.
A fire service spokeswoman said the blaze, in a ground floor storage cupboard, was believed to have been started deliberately.
~ Courtesy of Leicester Mercury