Quick-thinking OAP helps put out kitchen fire
A PEMBREY couple have been left counting the cost of a fire which virtually destroyed their kitchen.
Pensioners Hazel and Emlyn Gibbs were left shaken by the blaze, which broke out at their home in Randell Square last Tuesday night.
Quick-thinking Mrs Gibbs, 64, stopped the fire from spreading when she sprang into action and doused the flames with water from a hose-pipe.
But firefighters told her she was lucky her glasses did not melt onto her face while she fought to save her kitchen.
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"If I hadn't tackled the blaze the whole house would have gone up and next door as well," said Mrs Gibbs, who was taken to Glangwili Hospital suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation following her bravery.
"There's a hole in the roof where the fire broke through and it went into next door as well," she said.
"Probably when I opened the door the oxygen got in and fanned the flames.
"I opened the kitchen door and I could see all these flames."
Mrs Gibbs ran to ask her husband to call the fire brigade, and said that when she got back to the kitchen the heat was so intense that it threw her backwards.
"I could see it was beyond throwing a towel onto it and got the hose-pipe and put out some of the fire," she said.
The pensioner explained that she had left a chip pan on the stove, and could see the stainless steel extractor fan glowing with heat.
Her husband Emlyn, who had been ill in bed for a week, raced to turn the electricity off in the house before the fire brigade arrived.
And although Mrs Gibbs managed to keep the flames under control, the damage had already been done.
"It is a hell of a state," she said.
"The kitchen will have to be gutted."
The pensioner herself was also affected by the incident. She was taken to hospital and given a chest X-ray and a nebuliser.
"I was in shock and affected by the smoke," she said.
"My chest is a bit painful and I have a bad cough.
"Smoke got up my nose and it stank — I was filthy and wet."
The couple said the fire brigade only took ten minutes to reach the property, by which time the spread of the fire had been delayed.
"They were great and did a first-class job," Mrs Gibbs said.
Two fire appliances were on the scene from Llanelli, and crews used two hose reel jets, four breathing apparatus, a fan and a thermal imaging camera to tackle the blaze and smoke.