Mum admits starting two blazes that sparked rescue in Sunderland home

Ray Wallace, of Quarry Road, Silksworth, who alerted the emergency services to a fire in house opposite
Ray Wallace, of Quarry Road, Silksworth, who alerted the emergency services to a fire in house opposite
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A MOTHER has admitted risking lives by starting two blazes at her home.

Irene Bulmer sparked one fire on February 13 at Quarry Road, Silksworth, and lit a second on April 14, which resulted in a man being rescued from the burning property by a brave neighbour.

During a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court, the 54-year-old admitted two charges of arson being reckless to life endangered.

She will be sentenced on July 29. Recorder Keith Miller told her: “You will be kept in custody until then.”

Neighbour Ray Wallace was honoured with a special award from his bosses after saving a man from the second blaze.

The Stagecoach bus driver was at his home in Quarry Road, Silksworth, after his granddaughter Leila’s christening on Sunday, April 14, when his stepson, Andrew, spotted a fire across the road.

The pair rushed over and broke into the house before Ray dragged a 31-year-old man from inside the semi-detached home.

Explaining his act of bravery after he received the award, dad-of-two Ray, 52, said: “It’d been a long day with the christening, so we were just relaxing.

“I was just sitting at home watching TV when Andrew saw the fire.

“I could see someone in the house and when I reached it, I realised it was locked, so I started banging on the door to get the owner’s attention while my stepson phoned for the emergency services.

“The man inside went to make his way back upstairs, so I just grabbed him and told him to get out of the house immediately.

“I considered going back in to check if there was anyone else, but in the meantime the fire brigade had arrived, so I left the rest up to them.

“I didn’t think about the dangers when I entered the house. I just did it instinctively.”

Stagecoach gave him a Service To The Community Award, which recognises members of staff who go above and beyond the call of duty in their everyday lives.

Ray said: “Bus drivers don’t get always get a great press at times, but I’m really pleased to receive this award.”