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Stafford man averts disaster as gran's caravan gutted in blaze

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: May 01, 2014

  • Stafford man averts disaster as gran's caravan gutted in blaze

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AN 80-year-old Stafford woman fled with her pet budgie in a blaze that gutted her caravan home.

And only the quick action of her grandson, who uncoupled gas cylinders from the blazing trailer and dragged them away, prevented a major explosion.

Shannay Boswell, aged 29, and his father Elvis, 54, then dragged neighbouring caravans clear of the scene to prevent the fire spreading - though one van was badly scorched.

Grandmother Olive Boswell was having an early morning drink and drying washing in front of her gas fire in her caravan at the Stafford Borough Council site in Glover Street, Stafford, when the clothes caught fire.

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Mrs Boswell grabbed the cage containing her budgie Joey before fleeing from her home at 6am on Monday.

Shannay, who was asleep in the van next door, was woken by the crackle of the flames and dashed out to find his shocked grandmother outside.

"I got her out of the way and rushed to get the gas bottles off the caravan and away from the fire," he said.

"I was panicking, to be honest. The flames were shooting right up in the air."

His father then joined him in dragging the caravans either side out of harm's way, though the plastic windows of one of them were melted in the heat.

"It all happened so fast," he added. "Within 20 minutes the whole van was gone, it was totally gutted."

Three fire crews from Stafford, Rising Brook and Stone were called out.

Mrs Boswell was checked out by paramedics at the scene but was uninjured.

She was too upset to talk about the fire, but her family said she would be staying with relatives on the site.

"She was just relieved that she managed to rescue Joey - she thinks the world of her budgie," Elvis Boswell said.

"We are just so thankful that she is OK. Caravans can be replaced, but your family can't."

He said he was proud of his son. "If Shannay hadn't heard the fire and acted so quickly it could have been a different story," he said.

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