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Firefighters Rescue Woman From Burning Unit

Published: 24th July 2006

At around 4.15 pm on Wednesday 19 July the NSW Fire Brigades received numerous triple zero calls reporting a home unit on fire in South Coogee. A fire crew from the Maroubra brigade was on the scene five minutes later to find flames coming out or the windows of a top floor unit in a two level brick residential building. A crew from the Randwick brigade arrived shortly after.

Acting on reports from Police officers that someone was trapped inside the burning unit, firefighters wearing air cylinders forced open a security door to enter and search the unit. After a brief search in dense smoke and extreme heat the crews found an unconscious woman lying in the doorway of the kitchen. She was immediately removed to safety and given life support treatment as she was not breathing and had a very weak pulse. Firefighters were able to revive the woman before placing her in the care of Ambulance officers who continued treatment before conveying her to hospital in a critical condition.

Ultimately 20 firefighters from four brigades were committed to fighting the fire. They were able to contain the fire within about 15 minutes and continued extinguishment for another half an hour until satisfied the fire was completely out. During the operation other residents were evacuated from the unit block. Fire crews remained at the scene until after 9 pm mopping up and assisting with investigations.

The fire was contained to the one unit, which was extensively damaged. The cause of the fire is being investigated by the NSW Fire Brigades Fire Investigation and Research Unit and the Police.