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Elderly woman rescued from balcony of burning terrace

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06 Jan 2012
A woman in her seventies was rescued from a burning house in North Melbourne early this morning.

Neighbours were alerted to the blaze by the woman’s screams for help from the second storey of the house.  Ten firefighters in three appliances from West Melbourne and Carlton stations attended the Courtney Street terrace just before 4.30am.

When they arrived neighbours were attempting to help the woman down from the balcony, however their ladder was too short.  Firefighters quickly raised their own ladder and assisted the woman down to safety.  She was understandably shaken, as the flames and smoke were leaping up to the balcony where she stood.  She was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital where she has been treated for smoke inhalation.  There were initial fears that there were two other people still inside the house, but firefighters conducted a thorough search and no one else was located.

It’s believed the fire started at the front door, and Victoria Police are treating it as suspicious.   The Victoria Police air wing, dog squad, arson and explosive squad attended the scene.

The entrance to the home, which has recently been renovated, has suffered significant damage, with scorch marks on the outside of the building and several metres into the hallway.

Police are appealing for anyone who may have information about the fire to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit: www.crimestoppers.com.au.

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