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.”
Llanelli to holds it first food and drink festival
THIS SATURDAY (Oct 20), Llanelli town centre is holding it’s first ever Food and Drink Festival.
The festival which is being funded by Ymlaen Llanelli Business Improvement District, Llanelli Town Council and Welsh Government will see the town filled with a selection of artisan and street food and drink stalls from 9am to 4pm on Saturday, 20th October. Visitors will be able to buy everything from cheese and chutneys and to craft beer and wine.
In the St Elli shopping centre there will be a show demonstration kitchen where local chefs will be showing off their cooking skills from 10am on a variety of themes including the Big Welsh Breakfast, Fish is the Dish and Keep It Local.
You can also learn how to make bread, mill flower and churn butter at free workshops in the St Elli Centre and well as listen to live music in the entertainment marquee in Vaughan Street.
There are free activities for children throughout the day too including a toddler trail, disco potatoes and a pottery bus.
Llanelli market who are pioneers of little or no packaging will be taking part in a Go Green Trail and offering free canvas bags to customers on the day.
There is free parking all day in town too!
On Friday night the festival is kicked off by a food trail around some of the town’s best bars and restaurants. The Thomas Arms, Ruby’s, Llanelly House and Marzano’s will be offering tasters of their favourite dishes to some lucky customers. Anyone that completes the trail and get a stamp at every location gets entered into a prize draw to win a £50 voucher to spend at any of the four restaurants. You can pick up a stamp card at any of the four up until Friday evening.
Paolo Piana will be hosting a Come Dine With Me evening at Y Lle on Old Castle Road where participants will take part in an interactive dining experience and learn how to cook some Italian dishes from scratch. There is also a Welsh Cheese and Wine Evening taking place at the mayor’s parlour to raise money for the mayors chosen charity (both of these events have limited space to booking is essential).
Chair of Ymlaen Llanelli, Lesley Richards said: “It’s great to see months of work finally coming to fruition with our First Food and Drink Festival this weekend and we are all very much looking forward to it. We hope to see a large number of visitors in the town centre on Saturday to visit the food and drink stalls. Once they see what fantastic businesses we have in Llanelli, we hope they will return to support our lovely town which is a great place to do your Christmas shopping. Don’t forget there’s free parking all day too!”
Llanelli Town Mayor, Cllr. David Darkin said: “I’m really excited about the upcoming food festival. I’m sure this will be a fantastic showcase of what Llanelli town has to offer and a great family friendly event. Llanelli Town Council is very pleased to see this event taking place in our community.”
A Llanelli pub wants to pay you to drink beer
A LLANELLI pub has launched a search for the UK’s first ever ‘Pub-licist’ and is encouraging locals to apply for the coveted role – which will include drinking beer and catching up with friends.
The New Stepney Hungry Horse pub on Eastgate, is advertising the dream job for pub goers and calling for a local spokesperson to represent the pub company in return for a £500 salary.
As well as drinking on the job, the Pub-licist will also be faced with responsibilities that will include tucking into pies, lasagne, and fish & chips, and attending entertainment events at their local pub, on top of playing the odd game of darts, karaoke or taking part in the pub quiz.
The Pub-licist will also be required to make a number of visits to their local, in order to provide feedback and recommendations to help make their pub the best in the country.
Each task must be reviewed thoroughly and key feedback provided to management, to help the pub stay ahead of competitors and retain its role as the hub of the community.
The winning candidate should know their cask from their craft, be a pro at pub quizzes and have a taste for the finest pub-grub. Interested applicants should visit hungryhorse.co.uk/publicist before Tuesday 13 November explaining why they’ve got what it takes to be Hungry Horse’s first Pub-licist.
Andrea Daniels, general manager at the New Stepney, said: “Nothing beats the atmosphere and comradery of a local pub – and it really is the guests who make it such a great place to be.
“We’re searching for a pub fanatic who just loves a trip to their local, to become our first ever Pub-licist and help us to become the best pub the community.
“So, if you fancy taking part in a pub quiz, sipping on a cold beer or tucking into traditional pub classics – all while getting paid to do so, then we want to hear from you. We’d love it if the UK’s first ever Pub-licist was from Llanelli!”
Applications are open from Tuesday 16 October – Tuesday 13 November to apply or find out more, visit: hungryhorse.co.uk/publicist.
Police say ‘stop protecting’ murder suspect Steve Baxter
JUST over two weeks ago Simon Clark, aged 54, was found dead at Grove Caravan Park in Pendine, Carmarthenshire.
Dyfed-Powys Police is continuing its manhunt for Steve Baxter, who is wanted on suspicion of Simon’s murder.
Baxter also known as Steve Tidy, Steve Rowley, Wayne Tidy or William Tidy, is aged 52, 5’5” (1.65cm) tall and has tattoos on his forearms – the name Chez and entwined circles on his left arm and a serpent on his right arm.
He has connections in the West Wales, South Wales, South West and North England areas of the UK.
Officers and staff are working round the clock to follow all possible lines of enquiry.
The independent charity Crimestoppers is also offering a reward of up to £5,000 for information leading to the arrest of Steve Baxter and he has been added to the Most Wanted section of their website. Information would be taken by the charity anonymously.
Detective Superintendent Huw Davies said: “It’s over two weeks since Simon Clark was murdered at Grove Caravan Park, Pendine.
“The manhunt for Steve Baxter is ongoing and I must stress to the public that officers and staff are working round the clock to investigate all possible lines of enquiry that could lead us to him.
“I urge anyone with information of Baxter’s whereabouts to come forward. If you do not want to speak to police directly, you can speak to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, which is also offering a reward of up to £5,000 for information leading to his arrest.
“Someone knows where he is or has been in the last two weeks. Please stop protecting him. Simon Clark’s family deserve to see all those involved in his death brought to justice.”
Four people have been charged in connection with the murder: Jeffrey Stephen Ward, aged 40, from Pendine, has been charged with murder; Linda Mary Rowley, aged 52, from Pendine, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder); Kirston Macklin, aged 52, from Newport, Gwent, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder) and Julie Louise Harris, aged 46, from Tonypandy, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder).
If you see Steve Baxter call Dyfed-Powys Police on 999. Do not approach him.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of Steve Baxter call Dyfed-Powys Police on 101 immediately.
To pass on information anonymously, contact Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through the non-traceable anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
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