Woman is rescued by neighbour in flat fire

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A HERO neighbour has told how she smashed her way into a burning bedroom to rescue a sleeping woman.

&#149 Danielle Johnson rescued her neighbour who was sleeping through the blaze

Danielle Johnson, 29, braved flames during the early morning blaze which left the injured woman with burns to her hands and singed hair.

She then ventured back into the burning building to evacuate others who were sleeping through the drama.

Ms Johnson, a resource analyst from Brisbane, Australia, was getting ready for work in her second-floor flat in West Port at 8am yesterday when she heard a fire alarm sounding somewhere in the tenement.

It led her to the flat below where the door was answered by another tenant who had just been woken by the alarm but did not know where the fire was.

They soon spotted smoke seeping through cracks in an apparently locked bedroom door where his flatmate in her mid-30s was sleeping.

Ms Johnson said: "Me and another guy, Neil, who lived in the flat were trying to turn the alarm off when we started to notice a chemical smell coming from one of the rooms.

"He knew there was someone in there so we were yelling and trying to open the door but it was stuck fast and we couldn't get it open. We could hear screaming coming from behind it so I kicked the door in and it swung open, but as oxygen fuelled the fire large flames poured out upwards and out towards us.

"We kept calling her name and within seconds she came running to the door and we pulled her into the landing.

"I noticed she was in a bit of a state because her hair was quite singed and her hands were red but we got her out of the building and on to the street before we both ran back into our flats and got all our flatmates out."

Ms Johnson said the casualty, who received treatment for smoke inhalation, was sleeping for around seven minutes as her room burned around her.

She said: "When we got her out of the room she looked dazed. It will probably be a while before she realises how lucky she was. Everything in her room was completely destroyed."

Ms Johnson said the outcome could have easily been deadly.

"It was only when we got out we understood how massive the fire was. From the road we realised it had engulfed the whole bedroom.

"If no-one had answered the flat door downstairs, I wouldn't have been able to kick that heavy front door through and the consequences could've been tragic. It was a life and death situation."

Ms Johnson's flatmate Domingo Alvarez, 29, agreed she was a hero.

He said "Everyone has been saying she's the girl to have in a situation like this.

"She saved the life of the girl downstairs."

A fire investigation team has not revealed the likely cause of the fire but there has been speculation it was sparked by a lit candle in the bedroom.

Another man in the third floor of a neighbouring tenement affected by smoke was rescued by firefighters.

QUEEN'S HALL BLAZE DRAMA

THE Queen's Hall was at the centre of a fire drama due to an electrical fault.

Smoke was seen billowing from the Clerk Street venue's bell tower at around noon by concerned passers-by.

Around 20 Lothian and Borders firefighters attended the scene and put out the small blaze.

The fire started in an electrical cabinet, which an engineer later dismantled.

A spokesman for the Queen's Hall said: "The fire started in the power supply for our back-up emergency lighting system, which is situated in an electrical cabinet on the first floor.

"There was minor smoke damage to the cabinet, but the rest of the building is unaffected. We're currently assessing the damage with our electrical engineers and there are no plans to cancel any concert at the hall."

He added: "The smoke that came out of the bell tower was due to the ventilation channels in the building. The tower itself was not involved in the fire in any way."

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