Children rescued from 'life-threatening' house fire in Cleobury Mortimer
Firefighters have been praised after rescuing children from a "life-threatening" house fire and dealing with a two-vehicle road smash within minutes of each other on a night of high drama in Cleobury Mortimer.
At 7.20pm on Friday night, crews were sent to the fire at a house in the High Street, where an annex at the rear was ablaze.
One adult and four children were inside and they could not get out through the front door. Firefighters had to help them all clamber through a window to safety.
The community rallied and staff at the nearby Co-op store looked after the youngsters while firefighters worked. The occupants were lucky that members of the public called the fire brigade because they could not get any phone signal in the house.
Then, just five minutes after the house fire call, crews were sent to a two-vehicle crash on the A447 at Hopton Wafers in which damage was caused to a stone agricultural building. Nobody was trapped in the vehicles and one person was treated for minor injuries.
Parish councillor Debbie Brown believes incidents like this ram home the importance of the town having its dedicated fire station. Nearby Bewdley fire station has been the subject of campaigns to be saved amid plans to close it and centralise Wyre Forest's fire services at a hub in Stourport Road.
She said: "There was the fire and a crash down the road at Hopton Wafers so it was all systems go.
"We're very lucky to keep our retained fire service because it's clear that we need them on occasions like this. We're also lucky that we have local employers that employ retained firefighters and are happy to let them drop everything and go when they are needed."
Mohammed Miah, owner of Spice Express in High Street, across the road from the fire, described seeing tense scenes from his restaurant.
He said: "You could see the fire coming out from the roof. There was a child being rescued from the house. I don't know what caused it, but I'm glad everyone was okay."
Three appliances were sent from Cleobury Mortimer station and an operations officer was in attendance. Police and the ambulance service were also there.
Crews used a hosereel jet, line rescue, positive pressure ventilation and a roof ladder as they extinguished the blaze.
In the Hopton Wafers crash, two fire appliances including the incident support unit were mobilised from Cleobury Mortimer and Ludlow. An operations officer was in attendance.
Also at the scene of the incident were the land ambulance service and the police.
Station manager Ian Leigh was at the house fire.
He said: "It was a real, life-threatening situation. The fact that the community was there to assist was invaluable. We would like to send our thanks to them again.
"At the crash we had to not only make sure the vehicles were safe but make sure there was no-one in the building or that there wasn't any structural damage.
"It was a good example of how we can use our resources in a rural community."
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