Pensioner in fire drama

SP88033 Donna Cook fire hero with Nelly Barker. Unstone
SP88033 Donna Cook fire hero with Nelly Barker. Unstone
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A QUICK-thinking woman alerted her elderly neighbour to a house blaze ignited by burning paper pushed through the OAP’s letterbox.

Donna Cook was having a cigarette outside her Unstone home when she heard a smoke alarm ringing out from the house of her next door but one neighbour Nelly Barker (88) – who is hard of hearing and didn’t notice the alarm.

“I could see flames coming up from her door”, said mum-of-two Donna (37), of Central Close.

“I banged on Nelly’s front room window and told her to stop where she was but she opened the front door, I grabbed her and brought her back to mine to call the fire brigade.

“It left me shook up and worried for Nelly more than anything – my main concern was how I could get her out.

“I’m feeling very angry that somebody could do anything like this to an elderly person, it could have been a lot worse.”

Neighbours rallied round to help shaken but uninjured Nelly, replacing her damaged rugs and clearing mess, after the ‘suspicious’ fire between 5.30-5.55pm last Thursday January 13.

Donna, who also put Nelly up for the night, added: “People have been ringing me up all weekend and saying ‘what’s it like to be a hero?’.

“I don’t class myself as a hero, I’m just doing what any other neighbour would do.

“We are quite close in the cul-de-sac and we do look out for each other.”

Nelly thanked Donna, neighbours, police and the fire brigade for their help.

A police spokesman said house-to-house inquiries had been carried out while the investigation continued.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the suspicious fire to call 0345 123 33 33.