Houghton-le-Spring girl, 7, saves sleeping neighbour's life after hearing fire alarm

Olivia Ramsey, 7, has been praised by fire crews for her quick response. Credit: TWFRS

A girl saved her sleeping neighbour's life after waking to the sound of their smoke alarm.

Olivia Ramsey was having a sleepover with her mother, Samantha Breckon, in the living room of their home in Sunderland when she heard an alarm going off.

The shrewd seven-year-old woke her mother up, and asked her to check the smoke alarms in their home because she was worried.

After checking, Ms Breckon concluded the noise was not coming from their alarms, however, Olivia would not let the issue lie.

She had recently had a visit from firefighters at school who told her to call 999 if you hear a smoke alarm sounding for a while, as it could be an emergency.

The pair called Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) at 5:22am to inform them off the alarm going off at one of their neighbours houses.

Fire crews arrived in Shiney Row, Houghton-le-Spring within two minutes to find their next-door neighbour's kitchen was on fire and the occupier was asleep.

The man was checked over by paramedics and taken to hospital as a precaution.

Ms Breckon, 31, said: “It's terrace houses on our street but next door are flats so I couldn’t be sure which one was going off.

“My two boys were asleep upstairs and didn’t hear a thing that night – sleeping safe and sound.

“I’m really proud of Olivia, if it wasn’t for her waking up who knows what could have happened.”

Olivia (bottom middle), with mum Sam, aunty Kayley, brother Alfie and TWFRS Green Watch firefighters Credit: TWFRS

One of TWFRS' senior firefighters has also praised Olivia for her quick response.

Group manager Steven Thomas, who is head of prevention and education, said: “It’s great to know the school visits we deliver have a positive impact that children understand our potentially life-saving safety messages and can act upon them when needed, to keep their families, friends and neighbours safe.

“Olivia’s quick response that day saved a life and we are grateful she called us and we were able to get to the property so quickly.

“I want to thank our fire control and crews who attended that night without their quick response who knows what could have happened.

“This incident is a reminder that it’s important that you test your smoke alarms regularly to make sure they are working in case of emergency.

“If you don’t have working smoke alarms or something doesn’t appear right, get in touch via our website and we can arrange a free safe and well visit.”

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