Woman waited more than 20 minutes for South Wales Fire Service whilst her house burnt down

"It was absolutely devastating to see it go up in flames," Haley said. Credit: Media Wales

A woman from Treharris says she watched her house burn down whilst she waited for more than 20 minutes for the fire service to arrive.

Haley O'Sullivan called South Wales Fire and Rescue after discovering the fire in her upstairs bedroom.

The fire station less than half a mile up the road had no crew available, so the force sent firefighters from Pontypridd, over seven miles away.

Fire service whistleblowers say damage could have been limited had crews arrived sooner than 15 minutes. Credit: Media Wales

"It was absolutely devastating to see it go up in flames," she said.

Haley was the only person in the house. She was able to pass her dogs across the wall to hard neighbour's garden and then climbed over herself.

"I was out the front thinking, 'Oh my God, where are they?'."

Haley says she then waited for more than 25 minutes before fire engines arrived.

Haley opened her bedroom door to find the room filled with flames. Credit: Media Wales

By the time firefighters arrived, the blaze had destroyed both floors of Haley's home, the roof had collapsed and all her possessions were burnt.

"I think if the fire service came sooner, downstairs would have been safe.

"But it's not the fault of the firefighters — they told us there were no crews in the nearest stations."

Her home is now a blackened shell where the charred remnants of a lifetime's memories lie ruined. Credit: Media Wales

In a statement, South Wales Fire and Rescue service said crews actually arrived within 15 minutes of Haley's 999 call.

They said: "At 3:22pm on August 22 we received reports of a domestic property fire on Webster Street.

"Multiple crews from fire stations across south Wales attended the scene with the first fire appliance arriving at 3:37pm.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service say they arrived at the scene within 15 minutes of Haley's 999 call. Credit: Media Wales

"Approximately seven minutes after the initial call, our joint fire control enhanced our operational attendance and mobilised additional resources to the scene after receiving a repeat call highlighting the intensity of the fire spread and stating that it was spreading to neighbouring properties.

Firefighters worked tirelessly to extinguish the fire and a stop message was received at approximately 7.50pm."

The fire service has come under fire over the last month after an ITV News investigation into the culture at the force.

The Chief Fire Officer is being investigated after a victim of sexual harassment accused him of being untruthful about what he knew of her case.

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