A 60 year woman, Mrs. Annie Thomas of 34 Wernolau Road, Ammanford, escaped from her burning home on Tuesday morning by descending a ladder placed by her husband against her first storey bedroom window.
She was taken to Morriston Hospital suffering form shock and slight burns on both arms.
The fire was discovered by her husband, Mr. William Edgar Thomas at 4.30 a.m. when he was awakened by fumes rising through the floor. He went downstairs to investigate and found that the room in the front was on fire and that it had spread to the staircase. He at once awakened his wife who was terrified of he smoke and would not descend the stairs.
Mr. Thomas fetched a ladder and placed it against the bedroom window. He climbed up to the bedroom and assisted his wife to safety with their teenage grand-daughter.
He then ran to telephone kiosk 20 yards from the house and summoned the fire brigade.
Within minutes of receiving the call, the Ammanford section of the Carmarthenshire and Cardiganshire Joint Counties fire brigade was on the scene, and soon had the fire under control. They were able to confine the fire to Number 34, which is the end house in a block of five. In charge of the section was Station Officer M. Rogers, of Carmathen. The damage to the house was extensive. The front room was completely destroyed.
There was a gaping hole in the floor where fire ad eaten into the foundations, wall were scarred and the ceiling was blackened. The front door hung limply from its hinges, singed and useless.
The corridor and staircase were badly damaged, and the front bedroom is affected be fumes
Mr. Thomas told the “Guardian” that his neighbours had been wonderful. They had rallied around magnificently and helped to rescue furniture.
The fire was a big talking point in Hopkinstown on Tuesday, when people marvelled that the fire had not spread to the other four houses in the terrace. They were full of praise for the speedy arrival of the Ammanford section who had been able save the rear of the house and the four other houses in the block. The house next door was not affected in any way.
One man living a few doors away said that it was fortunate there was a telephone so near. He said the residents of Hopkinstown had been agitating for amenities such as a telephone kiosk for some time, and it was only two years ago that one had been installed. If the telephone kiosk had not been there the fire brigade would not have arrived so early, and the whole terrace might have been damaged.
A woman living next door to Mr. Thomas said she was terrified of the fire, which had flared up so quickly, and had feared that her house would be destroyed. She was thankful that the firemen had arrived in time.
Another resident pointed out it was fortunate that there was little wind on Tuesday morning to fan the flames.