FIREFIGHTERS rescued a couple after a blaze swept through their home.
A woman suffered burns to her face while her partner was discovered slumped unconscious on the floor of the house in Neville Road, Pallion.
Fire crews were forced to smash their way into the terraced cottage amid fears the couple, believed to be in their 30s, were trapped inside, cut off by the blaze.
Crews from Sunderland city and North Moor fire stations were called to the incident shortly before 10.30pm on Saturday.
“We had to force the front door to the premises and walk the lady out,” said Watch Manager Alan Patterson. “She had burns to the back, face, head and chest and was suffering from smoke inhalation, but she was walking. She was very confused and was in pain from her back.”
The man was found unconscious near to the kitchen, suffering from the effects of smoke.
Both victims were taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Neighbours today described how three fire engines and three police cars arrived in the street to help in the rescue.
A 39-year-old man, who has lived in the street for the past 12 months, said: “All I saw was smoke coming from the house
“It was pouring out of the letterbox and quite a bit seemed to be coming from the back of the house. The couple have been there since I moved in, which was about a year ago.”
It is now believed the fire was started in a chip pan.
“There were no smoke alarms so we fitted them” said watch manager Patterson.
Firefighters remained in the street to carry out checks on neighbouring properties following the incident.