Pensioner’s lucky escape


A WIGAN pensioner is lucky to be alive after a lit cigarette sparked a major blaze at her home.

Alice Carmel of Ince is still in shock after her bedroom went up in flames causing her to lose valuables including her engagement ring.

The 73-year-old has now vowed to quit smoking because of the incident.

She said: “I was just stunned and numb after it happened - I still can’t quite believe it. My son was with me in the house at the time and he alerted me to the fire. It was lucky I had closed the bedroom door and that stopped the flames from spreading.

“This has never happened before, I thought I had put the cigarette out properly. I’m just upset to have lost so many precious items including my engagement ring and a gold watch which my dad bought me for my 21st birthday.

“I haven’t entered the room since, it is mainly smoke damaged and we need to wait a few days for it to settle down.

“But fingers crossed I will be able to find them once I have a look. I have no clothes to wear either as they’re all destroyed by smoke damage. Friends have been lovely and have offered to lend me some essentials so I can get by.”

Firefighters were called to the house at Walmesley Drive at around 10.30am on Monday. Nobody was injured and the damage was confined to the bedroom.

Watch manager at Hindley Fire Station Pete Johnson said: “We recommend people get a free home safety check. Just get in touch with your local station and we can offer advice and fit smoke alarms for no cost. It could mean the difference between life and death.”