Two women escape Sunderland house fire

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TWO women were saved by their smoke alarm after fire broke out in the loft of their Millfield home.

A 62-year-old woman and her 84-year-old mother escaped unharmed from the house in St Mark’s Road shortly after 5.30pm yesterday.

Fire crews from Sunderland Central and North Moor fire stations used ventilation equipment to prevent the blaze spreading into neighbouring homes through the roof void.

“The smoke alarm alerted the 62-year-old female downstairs, who went upstairs and got her mother from the bedroom next to where the fire was situated on the first floor,” said a fire brigade spokesman. “They were both self-rescued prior to our arrival.

“There was a lot of damage because the fire was in the loft and we had to cut through the ceiling to get to the fire, which had spread quite extensively.

“Had the smoke alarm not been working and raised the alarm as quickly as it died, I am pretty sure there would have been a serious injury or even a fatality.”

The two women were taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital suffering the effects of smoke inhalation.

The blaze is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault. Gas engineers also attended the scene after fears of a leak in neighbouring houses.