Heroic efforts fail to save woman in flat fire tragedy

THE efforts of a heroic neighbour could not prevent the death of a Hornsey woman when fire tore through her flat. Susan Elliott, 64, who uses a wheelchair, was trapped in her fourth floor home when the blaze started in the early hours of Thursday. Her nei

THE efforts of a heroic neighbour could not prevent the death of a Hornsey woman when fire tore through her flat.

Susan Elliott, 64, who uses a wheelchair, was trapped in her fourth floor home when the blaze started in the early hours of Thursday.

Her neighbour, awoken by the fire, broke down the door and dragged her out of the flat but she later died in hospital. The man, who has not been named, is still in hospital suffering from smoke inhalation and burns.

Although the building has been declared "safe for current occupiers" by both the management team, St James' Homes, and the fire service, neighbours in the five-month-old development have raised concerns.


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Daniella Scott said: "I could see from my bedroom window that the flat was engulfed. It looked like it had been burning for ages and I could hear shouting and screaming from inside."

Jennifer Puleio, who lives downstairs said: "The alarm just didn't work. I was woken by shouts from below and told to get out of my house. I looked out the window and saw people telling me to get out quick."

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Another resident, Nulya Nalbant, from the adjacent Newland Estate, claimed although firefighters arrived quickly, they couldn't find the main water valve. Her husband Bayram Cam used his ladder to help evacuate panicked residents before lending it to firefighters so they could get across to the flat.

Developer St James Homes said: "We are very sad to hear of the death of a resident following a fire at New River Village. We would like to offer our sympathy to the family.

"The fire brigade has confirmed that the fire safety systems in the building, designed in accordance with building regulations, functioned successfully. We are awaiting a full report on the cause of the incident from the Fire Brigade.

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