Local seven-year-old girl saves neighbour's life from fire

Olivia awoke in the night to hear the sound of her neighbour’s alarm.
Olivia was thanked by the fire service today.Olivia was thanked by the fire service today.
Olivia was thanked by the fire service today.

A seven-year-old girl saved her neighbour’s life from a blaze in the night after waking up to hear a smoke alarm sounding.

In the middle of the night Olivia Ramsay, from Houghton-le-Spring, woke up to the sound of the alarm and quickly woke her mum up in a panic.

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Olivia had recently had a school visit from firefighters who told her to ring 999 if she ever heard an alarm sounding as it could be an emergency.

Olivia with her family and members of the fire service.Olivia with her family and members of the fire service.
Olivia with her family and members of the fire service.

After her mum, Samantha Breckon, checked all of the alarms in their own home Olivia assumed it must be a neighbours.

So at 5:22 am they called Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service to alert them.

Crews from Rainton Bridge, Washington and Farringdon Community Fire Stations arrived at the property in Shiney Row within two minutes.

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As it happened, Olivia and Samantha’s next door neighbour’s kitchen was on fire as he slept and it was because of Olivia’s persistence he could be rescued.

The neighbour was checked over by paramedics and taken to hospital as a precaution.

Samantha said: “It’s terrace houses on our street but next door are flats so I couldn’t be sure which one was going off.

"My two boys were asleep upstairs and didn’t hear a thing that night- sleeping safe and sound.

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"I’m really proud of Olivia, if it wasn’t for her waking up who knows what could have happened.”

Senior firefighters from TWFRS have thanked Olivia for her quick response to hearing the smoke alarm.

Group Manager Steven Thomas, Head of Prevention and Education for TWFRS, said: “It’s great to know the school visits we deliver have a positive impact that children understand our potentially lifesaving safety messages and can act upon them when needed, to keep their families, friends and neighbours safe.

“Olivia’s quick response that day saved a life and we are grateful she called us and we were able to get to the property so quickly.

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“I want to thank our fire control and crews who attended that night without their quick response who knows what could have happened.

“This incident is a reminder that it’s important that you test your smoke alarms regularly to make sure they are working in case of emergency.

“If you don’t have working smoke alarms or something doesn’t appear right, get in touch via our website and we can arrange a free safe and well visit.”

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