Disabled Buckland man has lucky escape as house fire erupts while smoke alarm melts
A DISABLED man had a ‘lucky’ escape after a fire erupted in the bedroom next to where he was sleeping while a smoke alarm melted.
David Johnson, 54, was saved by his wife Lyn who unusually had decided to stay downstairs to watch television rather than go to bed when she heard a loud ‘pop’ from upstairs in their two-bedroom house in Sultan Road, Buckland, at 1.45am this morning.
After going upstairs and opening a bedroom door Lyn’s concern turned to fear as she was confronted by towering flames.
But the quick-thinking grandmother, 57, kept her cool before shutting the bedroom door and storming into the room next door where her husband was asleep.
The nightmare wasn’t over, though, for the beleaguered pair with Mr Johnson, who needs assistance when walking, struggling to escape the burning house.
However, a specially fitted lift in the room saved the day with the couple able to bypass the burning heat in the landing upstairs before making the vertical journey downstairs to the lounge and fleeing to safety.
Family members told The News, the Johnsons were too ‘shaken up’ to talk but daughter Tasha said of their ordeal: ‘My mum stayed downstairs watching television while my dad was asleep upstairs when she heard a pop.
‘She went upstairs and opened the bedroom door and saw the room was engulfed in flames. She woke my dad up but he was struggling to move. She managed to get him out after they went down in the lift.’
The bedroom has been left gutted with smoke damage and puddles of water left throughout the property from where Southsea firefighters put out the blaze.
Christmas presents stored in the room by a number of family members have also been lost after going up in the fire.
But the woman added: ‘It’s just lucky my mum happened to be downstairs because my dad wouldn’t have woken up as he has to take a lot of painkillers. A firefighter told us the smoke alarm didn’t go off because it melted in the heat.’
The couple were treated for smoke inhalation and spent the night in Queen Alexandra Hospital.
Fire crews extinguished the fire within an hour, which has been put down to an electrical fault in a fish tank. ‘The fire was caused by a faulty fish tank which had ignited causing a fire in the first floor bedroom,’ crew manager Christopher Norgate said.
The fish died in the fire.