THE daughter of a woman who lost everything when a fire destroyed her Port Glasgow flat says her mum feared she would die in the blaze.
Carol Stewart had to flee for her life after an electrical fault started a fusebox fire which engulfed her home.
The mum-of-two was trapped inside the flat in Kelburn Terrace and forced to run out onto a raised veranda at the back of the block.
Her daughter Jolene Docherty said: “The electricity was switching on and off and there were sparks then small flames.
“My mum ran out onto the veranda and was in such a state that she forgot the number of the fire brigade.
“A neighbour called and five fire engines turned out.
“It was the best idea she had when she went out the back door.”
Having got out of the flat as it started to fill with deadly smoke, Carol then faced further danger.
Jolene says her mum is frightened of heights and froze because there was an eight foot drop for her to reach safety.
Jolene, a nurse at Inverclyde Royal, said: “The fire brigade had to get her down a ladder.
“She freaked out and had a panic attack.
“It took her a long time, she is terrified of heights.
“She is also not in the best of health and has arthritis and a chronic back problem.”
Jolene says her mum was panic-stricken and feared she would not get out alive.
She told the Tele: “She was terrified. She called my brother Robert and said she thought she would die in the fire.
“She didn’t think she would get out of the flat.”
Only half an hour before the fire on Sunday afternoon, Robert, his partner and one-year-old son had left the flat to return to their home in Lochgilphead after visiting at the weekend.
Carol, 48, is relieved that the toddler wasn’t in the house at the time but devastated that she will have to start all over again.
She is living with her boyfriend until landlords River Clyde Homes temporarily rehouse her.
Jolene, 26, said: “She is not going to be able to salvage anything from the house.
“Her curtains, mattress, anything that is fabric – she won’t be able to use them again.
“From the hall outwards is burnt. It’s in an awful state – it’s pretty drastic.
“I was only in for 10 minutes and when we left my clothes were stinking with smoke.
“She has lost her whole life’s possessions, from basic necessities to items of sentimental value.
“Her mum, dad and sister have all passed away and she has lost photos of them that cannot be replaced.”
Julie Allison, service improvement manager (East) at River Clyde Homes, said: “We are aware of the recent fire at one of our properties in Kelburn and are working with our customer to temporarily rehouse her whilst any necessary repairs are undertaken.”
An appeal has been started online to help Carol, who is very grateful for the donations already received.
Anyone who would like to help with items such as furniture should visit www.paypal.me/freebiesinverclyde
Source : GreenockTelegraph