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10-year-old girl saves man from Granby Close flats fire

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A 10-YEAR-OLD girl saved the day after a fire broke out in a block of council-owned flats in Llanelli yesterday evening (Nov 23).

The blaze, which broke out in the stairwell of a block of flats in Granby Close, saw one resident hospitalised as a result of smoke inhalation.

Five of the six properties involved were tenanted, The Herald understands.

A male resident had to be dragged out of one of the burning flats. The man cried out for help to local Maes Y Morfa pupil Tia Jayne Phillips Hughes, aged 10. Tia then alerted her father Daniel, along with locals Christian Davies and Luke Watkins.

Thankfully with the use of a ladder the two locals were able to get the casualty to safety, and he was taken to Morriston Hospital.

Tia told the Herald: “I was out playing with my two friends and my cousin and I could hear someone screaming for help from the flats at Granby Close. There were lots of flames and smoke everywhere.

“There was a woman in the window and she was shouting that she was pregnant. This was before the bangs. I ran to my house and told me Daddy that I needed a ladder, he ran up the road with the ladder on his back to rescue everyone from the fire – I was really scared, I’ve seen a fire before but not a big one like this. My father rescued three people out of there, he’s my hero.”

Tia’s father, Daniel Hughes, said: “Christian Davies and Luke Watkins had to smash a window at the bottom flat of the building to get a man out to safety. There were two really loud explosions – everyone could hear it and the ground shook.

“All of Granby close has been evacuated.. I managed to help a pregnant female and her partner out of another flat plus another male. It was my daughter Tia who called for help.”

Tia’s mother, Emma Phillips, said: “Tia came running in the house shouting for us to get help. The two bangs were so close together, it was hell of a sound. The fire was absolutely massive, like something out of a movie. I’m so grateful to my daughter for getting help.”

Luke Watkins added: “We could hear screaming and we saw Tia and thought someone was chasing her. We ran up to the flats and they were on fire. We saw Dan coming around the corner with a ladder, and he put the ladder up to the top floor. At the bottom flat a man was banging the window screaming for help. Me and Christian smashed the window and managed to get him out, he was unconscious on the floor. The ambulance arrived and gave him oxygen and managed to resuscitate him. Dan managed to get the pregnant woman out before us. Six flats are now in ruin. I think if we hadn’t got the male out then his number would have been up. It was a relief to see him breathe again.”

Craig Ian Woodward, partner of (a resident of the ruined flats) Angela Thomas, said: “We only went to the shop for five minutes, the next thing we know my girlfriend’s flat is in flames. She’s lost absolutely everything. Thankfully we managed to get the hamsters out but everything else is gone and this is just before Christmas. Angela has lost her possessions, her furniture all of her memories, the lot! She’s only lived there for a year and a half, this is totally devastating.”

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police is appealing for information following a fire which occurred in the stairwell of a block of flats at Granby Close, Llanelli.

“The fire occurred at approximately 5.15pm on Thursday 23rd November 2017.

“Police officers are working with specialist fire investigation officers from Mid and West wales Fire and Rescue Service to establish the cause of the fire which is currently being treated as unexplained.

“Anyone who has any information that could help the investigation is asked to call police on 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.”

Sean Rees, Llanelli Town Councillor for the Glanymor Ward, said: “I was at the site yesterday evening and spoke with the emergency services. I want to thank the police, ambulance and fire services for their response to this incident at Granby Close.

“I have also been speaking with some of the residents and families in our area and understandably we are all shocked. Some residents were also evacuated to nearby buildings.

“Well done especially to Tia Hughes who is just 10 years old and all her family for their quick actions which also helped to save lives. I think we should definitely recognise the heroics of Tia and her family for raising the alarm and for providing assistance before the emergency services arrived.

“As always, there has been great community spirit on show from everyone in the Morfa. All of our thoughts are of course with those who have been affected.”

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Llanelli bus depot to close after 100 years

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THE LLANELLI HERALD understands that the Llanelli Bus Depot at Inkermans Street will be closing its gates for good. 

The Bus Depot has served the local community for approximately 100 years, Drivers will now be sent to work from depots in Carmarthen, Swansea and Tycroes. 

All services will remain in the the town, this newspaper can confirm, and our reporter was told that there will not be any redundancies. 

One bus driver told us that he and he co-workers were “not completely happy”, but the unnamed source added “At least we still have jobs to go to.” 

Further updates are expected on this developing story.

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Two week national ‘Firebreak Lockdown’ announced for Wales from 6pm on Friday

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MARK DRAKEFORD, The First Minister of Wales has announced a two week ‘fire break’ lockdown from Friday October 23 at 18:00 HRS, to last until Monday November 9 at 00:01 HRS

Mr Drakeford said: “This firebreak is the shortest we can make it. It must be sharp and deep in order to have the impact we need it to have on the virus.”

All non essential businesses, including tourism businesses will be told to close.

Businesses have been told that they will be given £1000 each automatically to help with the economic impact of the shutdown.

Mr Drakeford added that children will be the priority and that childcare facilities will open as normal. Primary schools will open after half term.

Secondary schools will be closed for a week after half term to help control the virus.

Universities will offer a mixture of face-to-face learning and learning via video link. Students must stay at their university accommodation during the lockdown.

Responding to the Welsh Government’s announcement of a Wales-wide lockdown, Paul Davies MS, the Leader of the Opposition in the Welsh Parliament, has called the lockdown “not-proportionate” and is calling on the Welsh Government to be “open and transparent” on the evidence to support a lockdown and if the First Minister is committing Wales to rolling Wales-wide lockdowns every month.

Paul Davies MS said: “Sadly, the First Minster has failed to get public support for this second Wales-wide lockdown, failing to be open and transparent about the evidence to justify this lockdown and what his actions will entail for the future.

“The Welsh Government also has to be honest that this road they are taking us down is committing Wales to rolling Wales-wide lockdowns. This is not a two-week break to solve the pandemic, it is likely that we will see regular lockdowns across the rest of the year. The Welsh Government must be clear what actions they are taking during the lockdown to prevent further Wales-wide lockdowns which will have a significant impact on people’s lives and livelihoods.

“However, the main concern is that this national lockdown is not proportionate. The impact on businesses in areas such as Powys, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion, who have the lowest rate of Covid-19 cases in Wales, will be severe at a time when they are desperately struggling to recover from the pandemic so far this year.

“The First Minister needs to urgently come to the Welsh Parliament and answer these questions, to face effective scrutiny by elected representatives and not run his government by media.”

Preseli Pembrokeshire MP, Stephen Crabb told The Herald: “The evidence to support an all-Wales lockdown is weak and I am sceptical that this so-called ‘fire-break’ will tackle the situation in those parts of Wales where infection rates have been out of control. The key issue for Welsh Government to address is what will be done differently after the firebreak ends in those parts of Wales where infection rates have spiralled out of control. Otherwise the whole of Wales risks being dragged back into a series of rolling lockdowns.

“As we saw earlier in the year, lockdowns come with huge costs in terms of harm to the economy and to people’s emotional and mental wellbeing. With the Welsh Government asking UK Government to fund this lockdown, I hope that as many businesses as possible get support they need quickly. Pembrokeshire’s hospitality businesses will be hit particularly hard by these latest restrictions and I will be fighting hard again to see that they are protected as the lockdown kicks in.”

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Drakeford to make decision on ‘fire-break’ lockdown in Wales by Monday

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WALES is facing a national lockdown lasting at least two weeks in plans described as a “fire-break” by the first minister.

He said a decision was likely to be made on Monday, while talks continue with health officials, scientific advisors and councils over the weekend.
“Doing nothing is not an option,” he said.

Responding to the speculation First Minister, Mark Drakeford, is set to announce a ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown in Wales, Welsh Conservative health spokesperson, Andrew RT Davies MS said: “I implore the First Minister to think again before heading down this path.

“The decision to lockdown Wales once again will have devastating consequences – from an economic and public health perspective – and should be the last resort.

“Only yesterday, the former director of communicable diseases at Public Health Wales, Dr Roland Salmon, said a circuit-breaker is likely to fail and the Welsh Labour Government should listen carefully to his warning.

“Earlier this week, Welsh Conservatives called for the urgent resumption of shielding in Wales with a substantial package of support to ensure the financial, physical and mental well-being of those most at risk is protected.

“This should be the immediate action taken by ministers along with prioritising PPE and testing in the problem areas in Wales such as hospitals, care home, universities and meat factories.

“It’s not too late for the Labour Government to reconsider and choose a different approach in Wales.”

Mr Drakeford warned that 2,500 people were now being infected with coronavirus every day in Wales, with critical care units in hospitals full.

“A successful fire-break would re-set the virus at a lower level,” he added.

Together with a new national set of rules for the whole of Wales after the fire-break period we would have slowed the virus down enough to get us through to Christmas.”
Plaid Cymru has been calling on Mr Drakeford to introduce the circuit-breaker without delay, while Labour at Westminster says a similar approach should be adopted in England.

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