‘We could hear people screaming’ - neighbours recount Hitchin house fire rescue

A fireman a the scene of a house fire in Coleridge Close, Hitchin, where four people had to be taken

A fireman a the scene of a house fire in Coleridge Close, Hitchin, where four people had to be taken to hospital - Credit: Archant

Neighbours have spoken about the moment a family of four were rescued from a house fire.

Residents living in Coleridge Close, Hitchin, were woken up in the early hours of last Thursday, December 5, after a family in a neighbouring house were heard screaming and shouting for help.

Emergency services were called at 2.35am and on arrival firefighters tackled a fire on the ground floor, leading four people to safety through the front door.

A man in his 60s sustained a burn to his head and was having difficulty breathing.

The other three people inside, a woman in her 30s, a woman in her 50s, and a man in his 20s, all suffered smoke inhalation.


You may also want to watch:


All four were taken to Lister Hospital in Stevenage by the ambulance service for treatment.

One couple in Coleridge Close, who asked not to be named but offered to take the family into their house while the emergency services dealt with the situation, said: “We woke up in the middle of the night but initially thought that it was a group of people shouting in the street. The trouble was that the streetlights were not on so we actually couldn’t see anything. We could hear people screaming. We went downstairs and opened the front door and we could see the family shouting that the house was on fire.

Most Read

“They kept saying to get a ladder and get help, we can’t breath. I asked if they had called the fire brigade and they said that they had. Just to make sure I also called the fire brigade and within three minutes they were here.”

The couple, who have lived opposite the family for the past 22 years, took three of the family members into their house while attempts were being made to help the older man breathe.

They added: “The whole incident was disorientating because of the lack of lights. It was frightening and scary but the emergency services worked really fast and should be commended for their work. The family are now staying with relatives and have been back since to say thank you.”

Fire crews from Hitchin, Stevenage, Baldock and Letchworth GC tackled the fire, which was declared out by 3.20am. It is believed to be accidental.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter