A WOMAN who was pulled from a blazing flat by three policemen had already been rescued from the same fire by a neighbour just minutes earlier.
Callum Smith, 22, today told how he burst into the burning home to save the woman from “certain death”. But moments later she ran back into the flat.
The three police officers then repeated the rescue, as reported in the Evening News on Wednesday.
Mr Smith, 22, self-employed joiner from Dalkeith was enjoying a night in with pal David Williams when he heard a smoke alarm sound. He rushed into the hall to find thick black smoke billowing through the letterbox and keyhole of his neighbour’s home.
When he looked through the letterbox, he saw the woman, who had knocked on his door and appeared distressed only minutes earlier, lying on her front in the middle of the floor with flames surrounding her.
“She looked unconscious, I got a real fright,” Mr Smith said. “Then it was just instinct. I shouted to David and we phoned the emergency services then we got through the door.
“I got one arm and David got the other arm and we dragged her out. She was a dead weight. We were fighting flames and smoke while we were doing it. I had to cover my mouth and could hardly breathe.
“It was the scariest thing I’ve ever gone through. But I think anybody would do the same.”
A man waiting at a nearby bus stop, 54-year-old Ken Halliday, also came to aid the rescue effort after he saw the flames coming from the flat, in Buccleuch Street, Dalkeith.
The woman was then dragged into the fresh air in an apparently unconscious state with the emergency services on their way. But the woman then ran back inside the flat and the three police officers mounted their rescue.
On Wednesday we told how they are to be considered for bravery medals for their daring mission. All three of the police officers were treated by emergency services for smoke inhalation and two were taken to the ERI for treatment.
The 50-year-old woman who was pulled from the fire was also taken to hospital, although ambulance crews said she had regained consciousness on the way there.
Her reasons for re-entering the property and the cause of the fire remain unclear.
Mr Smith added: “The flat is wrecked. I looked in afterwards and the telephone intercom was melted down the wall, that’s how bad it was.”
Mr Halliday, an MOT tester who had just finished work for the day when he went to help with the rescue, added: “I saw the fire from the bus stop. The window was glowing orange and smoke started belching out of the window.
“I phoned the fire service and then went up to help. By that time she was lying unconscious at the door and one of the boys was choking half to death. There was smoke pouring out.”
Fire investigators are still working to establish the cause of the fire. Police inquiries are also ongoing.