Family thank fire crews who saved their lives

The family meet the firefighters who saved their lives

A couple have thanked the firefighters who rescued them from their burning home.

Siobhan Stephenson and Tom Elder were woken by a smoke alarm in the early hours of Sunday 15th May after fire broke out in the living room of their home in Bishop Auckland.

Unable to escape, the couple sheltered upstairs with their two year old son Frankie. After calling the fire service, the family followed a survival plan provided over the phone by a fire control operator.

Frankie was handed to a neighbour in the street, but his parents could not be rescued until fire crews reached the scene. By this time, Tom had fallen unconscious due to the effects of breathing in smoke.

Smoke is clearly visible above the family's downstairs window

Smoke is clearly visible above the family’s downstairs window

Siobhan told ITV News Tyne Tees that she was ‘panicking’ and feared they would die in the fire. Tom said it was ‘overwhelming’ to meet the rescuers, who brought them down a ladder to safety.

For County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, the positive conclusion to this case shows the importance of having smoke alarms.

This family was alerted to this serious fire in their home by smoke alarms. The alarms gave them the vital, small amount of time needed to call 999 for the fire service.DAVE GLENDINNING, COUNTY DURHAM AND DARLINGTON FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE
A chance to thank the firefighters

A chance to thank the firefighters