THE family of two women who escaped from a blaze at their city home are backing the Echo’s Hold Fire campaign.
Sixty-one-year Hasina Khatun and mother Asia, 84, were alerted to the fire in the loft of their home in St Mark’s Road, Millfield, by a smoke alarm on Sunday evening.
A crew from Sunderland Central fire station tackled the blaze, smashing their way into the loft and using ventilation equipment to prevent the flames from spreading to neighbouring homes.
The two ladies suffered the effects of smoke but were otherwise unhurt and are recovering with family.
Now they are urging people to sign the Echo’s on-line petition against the closure of the central fire station.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority wants to close the station as part of a drive to save more than £8million.
Bosses say the city centre can be adequately covered from Farringdon and a new station to be built on the north side of the Wear.
But Hasina Khatun’s son Shehab Miah, 30, said the extra time it would have taken to get to the fire could have made a crucial difference in how far it spread.
“What will happen if the fire station is not there? We are going to lose a lot of lives,” he said.
The family had backed the campaign to save Central fire station just 48 hours before the blaze, after campaigners visited the local mosque.
“The Imam gave a speech about it,” said Mr Miah.
“We are urging everybody at the mosque and everybody in the local community to sign.”
Mr Miah said his mother and grandmother being alive was proof of the valuable community work done by the station.
“The smoke alarm was fitted by the fire brigade themselves after they visited the mosque,” he said.
“They do a lot of work in the community around here as well as firefighting. They come out to fit alarms, to give advice on how to prevent fires.
“They are really helpful.”