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Teacher helps rescue children trapped in house fire

Laura Jefferson, left, with Sarah-Jo and Anthony Vane.
Laura Jefferson, left, with Sarah-Jo and Anthony Vane.

A teacher from Bethersden has told how she helped rescue two small children trapped in a blazing house.

Four fire crews went to Knaves Acre, Headcorn, at just after 7.20pm last night afer reports that two children, aged six and three, were trapped in a house fire.

Neighbours Sarah-Jo and Anthony Vane, and Mrs Vane's sister Laura Jefferson, were alerted to the blaze when another neighbour knocked on their door.

Miss Jefferson, who works as a teacher at Canterbury High School, said she could hear the children screaming.

With the help of her sister she broke through a garage door to get to the back of the house.

She said: "I scrabbled up some trellising and on to a conservatory roof. I could see the little girl huddled and the little boy was near the window. It was thick with smoke."

As downstairs windows started to smash, Miss Jefferson managed to force open the window and tried unsuccessfully to pull the children out.

At that point her brother-in-law put a ladder to the window and climbed up and grabbed the six-year-old boy. Mr Vane pulled the other child free, and Miss Jefferson jumped from the conservatory roof.

She said: "There were bangs and explosions everywhere, we all just ran for cover."

The children were taken to hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

Firefighters were on the scene until 11.30pm and were back there, with police, today to investigate the cause.

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