Oswaldtwistle OAPs rescued from 2nd house fire in 6 months

AFTERMATH Mark Roundell surveys the damage

AFTERMATH Mark Roundell surveys the damage

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Education reporter

NEIGHBOURS rushed to the rescue of a pensioner couple after a second blaze at a terrace home within months.

Residents in Trinity Street, Oswaldtwistle, raised the alarm on seeing flames through the living room window on Sunday night.

Neighbours also rescued residents Norma and Raymond Roundell after rushing inside.

Norma, 67, and Ray, 68, were carried outside after their carer a few doors away let neighbours in with a key.

It is the second blaze at the property since a similar rescue by neighbours took place in October.

Both fires were caused by discarded cigarettes.

Neighbours Martin Wilson and Ian Pilkington carried out Mr Roundell from his downstairs bedroom where flames had took hold at 9pm.

Martin’s partner Claire Noke said: “Martin also got him out the last time it happened. My ten-year-old daughter was in tears when he rushed out to help.

“It’s very sad, they need more help than a carer popping in.

Last time he needed oxygen but this time the neighbours heard the smoke alarms and were really quick to get to him.”

The couple’s son Mark Roundell said his father had been smoking on both occasions and left a cigarette burning.

He said his parents were struggling to cope after his father began showing symptoms of confusion.

He said: “It has just reached the point where they have to consider a home.

“A carer pops in but we are scared this will happen again when no-one is here. The problem is dad is stubborn and won’t hear of it, so we are stuck.”

The family have been told help from social workers cannot be given while Mr Roundell refuses it.

Mrs Roundell, a former personal assistant, said she agreed extra help was needed but her husband, a retired painter and decorator, did not want any.

She said: “It was very frightening with smoke everywhere. I don’t know why, but he forgets.

“He even has a flame proof armchair and we keep water in the ashtrays like the fire service said.

“He has forgotten he is not supposed to smoke in his bedroom.”

Daughter-in-law Sarah Wolfenden-Roundell said: “At the moment we are here every day because mum can’t cope on her own with him. But we are 25 minutes away.

“We are looking into moving closer to them, but ideally they need someone with them all the time.

“The problem is he is refusing help and we are trying to find out what to do about that.”

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