Portsmouth great-grandmother, 101, dies days after being rescued from North End house fire

A CHERISHED great-grandmother aged 101 rescued from a house fire has died in hospital days after the blaze.

Saturday, 6th March 2021, 7:00 am

Firefighters pulled Henrietta Andrews from a downstairs room at her home in Torrington Road, North End, when the fire erupted at 9.24am on Monday.

Firefighters from Cosham, backed up by crews from Southsea and Portchester, broke down the door and rescued Henrietta.

She was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital suffering with ‘minor smoke inhalation’. She started to recover but died on Wednesday.

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Henrietta Andrews died two days after a house fire in Torrington Road, North End, on March 1 in 2021. Pictured in 2020. Picture: Scott Andrews

Henrietta’s grandson Scott Andrews, 50, told The News: ‘We’re all devastated that she’s gone, especially as she seemed to be recovering from the initial effects of the fire.

‘We’re just focusing on the positive, the happy memories that we’ve got - we had her for 101 years which is longer than many people get.

‘While we’d preferred not to have lost her in such traumatic circumstances it could’ve been much worse, she could’ve suffered a long illness.’

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The fire in Torrington Road, North End on March 1. Picture: Steve Lewis

Henrietta, who had a son and daughter, worked in the Hilsea branch of the family business Amberley Security, now in Copnor Road, until she retired in the mid-1980s.

Her husband Frederick died at 86 some 15 years ago, her grandson Scott said.

In recent times she had been housebound with a broken hip. She had avoided contracting Covid-19 and had received a first dose of vaccine.

The coroner will now investigate the circumstances of her death. The family have been told she suffered complications relating to her chest in the days after the fire.

Torrington Road fire on March 1.

Daniel Wakelin, 44, had tried to kick and punch his way through the front door before being beaten back by the blaze.

Mr Wakelin told The News: ‘I was gutted to hear it.

‘I was hoping that she was going to survive but obviously it was too much for her.’

A nearby neighbour, 47, who did not want to be named but said Henrietta’s home is in ruins, added: ‘It’s awful.’

A Hampshire police spokeswoman said: ‘The fire is not being treated as suspicious at this stage.

‘A 101-year-old woman was taken to hospital but has since passed away from her injuries.

‘Her family have been informed and are being supported.

‘A file will be prepared for the coroner.’

As well as two children, Henrietta had three grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and a great-great grandchild.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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