A YOUNG couple were rescued from a burning flat in Daventry following a suspected arson attack last weekend.
Nicholas Morgan and his girlfriend Anna Bricknell, both aged 23, were freed from the burning first-floor property by fire crews in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The fire tore up the staircase of Mr Morgan’s flat in Eden Close on the Grange estate at around 4am on Saturday. The pair were sleeping when they were awoken by an alarm to find smoke bellowing into the bedroom.
Mr Morgan attempted to fight the fire, which was contained within the stairwell but had also blocked off the only emergency exit.
They were forced to retreat to the bedroom and call the fire brigade. They also shouted for help through the window when the smoke became too thick.
He said: “I plugged the door with pillows at the top to try and stop the smoke getting in. Because the fire started at the PVC door the smoke was heavy and thick from the melting plastic.
“Anna hung out of the window to try and breath cleaner air and I had towels and pillows over my face to protect me – it was pretty scary. I’m absolutely gutted.
“Eventually, with the force of the smoke, the door popped open and I’m sure that if I had spent another few minutes in that room I would have passed out.”
Three fire crews arrived at the scene where they used ladders to rescue the couple through the window.
Neighbours Heath Henderson, 46, and Jessica Nash, 66, who live in the flat below raised the alarm.
Ms Nash said: “Heath came running into our room and said ‘quick, get out of the flat there is a fire’.
“The first thing I thought was oh my God, get out. I just thought about getting my clothes and getting out.
“When we got outside the smoke was black and toxic and I think if it wasn’t for Heath’s prompt action it would have killed us in our beds.”
Mr Morgan and Miss Bricknell both suffered from smoke inhalation but neither sustained injuries.
Since the fire Mr Morgan has been staying with Miss Bricknell and borrowing clothes from friends as the flat was unsafe to return to.
It is not yet clear who will pay for the extensive smoke damage to the flat as it is a rented property and Mr Morgan was made redundant from his job as a car body repair man at Normandale Refinishing in Daventry before Christmas.
Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward with information. Call the Northamptonshire Police hotline on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
n A 24-year-old woman has been arrested and released on bail in connection with the incident.