Review of the year: October

OCTOBER saw lives saved in a double house fire, sunbathing during a record heatwave and one very shocked pensioner.

•A GRANDMOTHER climbed through a kitchen window to save her grandson and a woman was pulled to safety from an upstairs window when fire took hold at two homes in Stevenage.

Flora De Peralta, 63, was babysitting at her daughter’s York Road home in Stevenage when she smelled burning. Going out the front door to see the cause, the wind caught the door locking her out.

It was then it became clear that fire was taking hold at the rear from a shed in flames next door.

Keeping her head Mrs De Peralta grabbed a large stone and climbing on it managed to haul herself through the upper part of the kitchen window before grabbing the baby who was still sleeping and running to safety.

The fire had quickly taken hold next door where tenant Andrew Searle had escaped, but his wife was trapped upstairs in a bathroom with the family dog.

Fire fighters were able to rescue the woman through the bathroom window. The dog and two cats were also saved.

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•RECORD temperatures left a happy but bemused glow on Comet country as the mercury hit 29 degrees.

Instead of wrapping up as autumn got underway, sunbathers were out in parks across the area as the heatwave made it more like the Med than Herts and Beds.

Comet weatherman Richard Barker said the remarkable weather was more than 10 degrees above normal following the driest September on record.

“It’s completely unprecedented,” he said.

•TASER-WEILDING police surrounded a pensioner who had popped round a neighbour’s house to water the garden and pick some apples.

The 67-year-old, Patricia Cook, who along with her daughter Louise was helping out a friend who lives opposite on Heathfield Road, Hitchin heard a voice behind a fence asking her what she was doing.

“The next minute these police officers were scaling the fence with taser guns,” she said.

“I’ve lived here for 40 years. All it would have taken was someone to ask what I was doing,” she said.

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