Norfolk

Hen party heroes save elderly man from North Walsham fire

Kayleigh Brown (left) and Harriot Woods Image copyright Kayleigh Brown
Image caption Kayleigh Brown (left) and Harriot Woods said "instinct just kicked in"

A bride-to-be and her friend rescued an elderly man from his burning flat while on their way home from a hen party.

Kayleigh Brown and Harriot Woods were walking home in North Walsham, Norfolk, at about 03:00 BST on Sunday when they noticed smoke coming from a flat.

Ms Brown, 21, dialled 999 while her friend began kicking at a back door after hearing a man shouting for help from inside.

The women, who both work as carers, said "instinct just kicked in".

Ms Woods, 20, managed to get in through the back door of the property, which opened straight on to stairs.

"There was a lawnmower on the stairs and some golf clubs, which I threw to the bottom while Kayleigh was calling 999," she said.

Ms Woods found an elderly man on the top floor and helped him down the stairs and out of the flat.

But after he told them a seven-year-old girl was upstairs, Ms Woods went back inside and managed to check two rooms before "she couldn't breathe properly" and had to go back outside.

Firefighters arrived and went into the flat but found no-one else inside.

Image copyright Kayleigh Brown
Image caption The hen party were out celebrating Kayleigh Brown's (far left) final days as a single woman

The women had been returning home from a night out celebrating Ms Brown's impending nuptials.

"We'd had a few to drink but instinct just kicked in," said Ms Woods, who lives 10 minutes away from the flat fire.

"I assume anyone would have done what we did. At the end of the day, he's someone's family."

The man, thought to be in his 70s, was taken to hospital, according to the women.

They are planning to visit him at home "just to make sure he is all right", Ms Brown said.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue confirmed it had attended a flat fire in North Walsham in the early hours of Sunday.

A firefighter told the North Norfolk News that if Ms Woods and Ms Brown had not intervened "this story could have had a tragic ending".

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