Neighbor saves woman from house fire


A vigilant neighbor was treated for smoke inhalation after coaxing a terminally ill woman from a burning Christchurch cottage as he struggled to put out a kitchen fire with a garden hose.

Dean Harrison was in need of oxygen after convincing Doreen Haines to abandon the search for his handbag at a property in Sefton St Belfast as the flames broke out at around 12:20 p.m. yesterday.

“I walked in with the hose and she followed me, so I grabbed her and pulled her out.

“It was a little hairy in there for a minute. If she had been in there any longer, she would have been fucked up by the smoke.

Harrison was working in his garden across the street when he noticed smoke rising.

“I thought it was a drum fire and then I got out front and realized it was a little more serious and I ran across the road. The lady was near the back door and asked me to enter.

Doreen, 72, was also taken to Christchurch Hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation.

His son-in-law praised Harrison’s actions as fire investigators roamed the charred kitchen.

“I owe him a beer, we have good neighbors here,” said Johnny Brewer.

“As far as we know, the neighbors were setting up their Christmas trees and they noticed smoke coming from the front of the house. “

Harrison, who also brought three dogs to the property, has played down his exploits and side effects.

“I just needed oxygen to clean my lungs.”

Haines lived with her daughter Cheryl and Brewer for about six months as she battles terminal cancer and emphysema.

Brewer, who has lived in the house for seven years, was a philosopher.

“We will find accommodation and then discuss with the insurance. He’s a bugger, but we’re insured and no one was hurt.

Meanwhile, emergency services were called yesterday for another fire at a garage in Appleby Cres, Burnside, at 2:40 p.m.

The fire was considered suspicious.

-Chris Barclay


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