Elderly woman dies in Telford house fire

An elderly woman died in a house fire in Telford today, despite desperate efforts to save her.

Paramedics attempted to resuscitate the woman, thought to be in her 70s, and from the Trench area of Telford.

But she was confirmed dead at the scene in Wombridge Road, soon after the fire broke out at about 8am.

Her carer had raised the alarm and fire crews found a blaze in the front ground floor room of the house, where the woman slept.

She was rescued from the house by firefighters who performed first aid before the ambulance arrived and paramedics took over.

West Midlands Ambulance spokesman Claire Brown said: “Sadly, it quickly became apparent to crews that nothing could be done to save the woman and she was confirmed dead on scene.”

A police cordon sealed off the area around the house between Trench Road and Broadway Avenue and officers diverted traffic.

Six police cars, an ambulance, a responder paramedic car and two fire engines filled the road outside.

Shocked neighbours, some of whom had been woken up by sirens attending the scene, watched the drama unfold from their front gardens.

Steven Jassi, 33, who lives opposite saw the tragic events unfold.

“I heard the fire engine and looked out of the window,” he said.

“I saw the firefighters going in through the front door with breathing apparatus on.

“There was brown smoke coming from the top window but I couldn’t see any flames.

“It’s a shock really. You just don’t expect it, it’s very sad.”

He described his neighbour as a friendly lady who would wave if he was outside washing his car.

He said she suffered mobility problems and was visited daily by carers.

“Sometimes she would sit with the front door open watching the world go by,” he added.

“She would always say hello.”

At the nearby Costcutter shop staff said they were saddened by what had happened.

They said the woman was not mobile enough to have gone into the shop.

Adam Matthews, station manager at Telford Fire Station, said: “We used breathing apparatus to enter the property where we found a female.

“We rescued her from the building, first aid was administered but it was established unfortunately she had died.

“Subsequently fire investigation officers have been there this morning working with the police and forensic teams to establish the cause.

“We used a hose reel to put out there fire. There was smoke damage throughout the property. Crews have gone back this afternoon to talk to residents from a safety point of view.

“There were smoke alarms fitted.”

There was little evidence of the fire from the front of the property, although windows on the ground floor had been blackened and curtains burned.

Firefighters were able to access the building because the carer, who helped the victim each morning, had a key to the front door.

Police were today contacting the family of the victim and a formal identification was expected to take place today or tomorrow.

West Mercia Police spokesman Chris Ammonds said: “The investigation is still ongoing into the exact cause of the fire but at this stage it does not look like there are any suspicious circumstances.

“The next of kin of the deceased lady has been informed but no formal identification has taken place yet.”