Woman dies after severe flat fire in Bilston
A woman has died in hospital after a flat fire which also killed her pet dog.
Firefighters helped perform CPR on the woman, who was named locally as Louise, after she was pulled from the Bilston flat in the early hours.
She was taken New Cross Hospital in a critical condition but died a short time later, a spokesman from West Midlands Police said. The death is not being treated as suspicious.
The blaze ripped through the living room of the house in Green Lanes after it was started by a cigarette at around 3.30am today.
Two children from neighbouring homes were also treated by paramedics for the effects of smoke.
Neighbours in the street had spoke of their shock of waking up to see emergency services at the flat.
One resident said: "She seems a lovely lady, it is such a shame.
"You could still see the smoke at around 6am. The lady lives on her own and it is so sad about her dog."
Another neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "I just heard the fire service turn up at around 2.45am. We have been up all night.
"The lady's name is Louise and the dog has been her companion for a long time. She's lived there for around eight years."
Anne Chiotis, who lives across the road, said: "I was going to the bathroom and saw all the flashing lights.
"I went to have a look and there was about a dozen people around her carrying out CPR for about 20 minutes, then they carried on in the ambulance.
"It looks really bad. It is awful really. I don't know the lady."
Another added: "We saw all the firefighters there this morning and you could smell the smoke."
A West Midlands Fire Service spokesman said fire investigators had confirmed the blaze was started accidentally by a lit cigarette.
In total 13 firefighters, in two engines and a brigade response vehicle, were sent to the ground-floor flat.
The spokesman said: "Our firefighters entered the property wearing breathing apparatus and located a woman inside and rescued her and they then carried out CPR and she was taken to hospital.
"Unfortunately one dog died in the property. Our crews recovered the animal."
Two ambulance crews, two paramedic officers and the Hazardous Area Response Team attended the scene.
A spokesman for Wolverhampton Homes, which manages the property, said staff were assisting the woman's family.
“West Midlands Fire Service were already in attendance and had already disconnected the gas and electric to the property when we arrived," said the spokesman.
"We have been unable to access the property to assess the full extent of any damage at this time since investigations by emergency services are ongoing.
"Although we are aware two children from a neighbouring property were treated at the scene for the effects of smoke, I can confirm that the fire was isolated to the property where the fire originated and no other properties were affected.
“The tenant was taken to hospital shortly after the incident. Our priority now is supporting the tenant’s partner and her family at this extremely difficult time.”
A West Midlands Police spokesman added: "A woman has been taken to hospital from the address and enquiries continue into the cause of the fire."
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