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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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Victoria Road: Meat stolen shed not fit for humans, say police

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is warning that meat stolen during a burglary in Llanelli is not fit for consumption by humans.
Several bags of frozen chicken and other meat were taken from a shed in Queen Victoria Road some time over the past few days, along with a radio controlled car and an electric saw.
If eaten, the meat could result in food poisoning.
Officers are concerned that the offender could be intending to sell the meat on, or might already have sold it.
Anyone with information about the burglary is asked to contact Dyfed-Powys Police on 101.

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Llanelli: Woman on trial for fiddling more than £100,000 in benefits

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A LLANELLI woman is to stand trial accused of fiddling more than £100,000 in benefits she was not entitled to.

Emma Jane Campbell, aged 49, appeared at Swansea Crown Court today for a plea and trial preparation hearing before Judge Keith Thomas.

Campbell, of Elizabeth Street, denied retaining wrongful credits totalling £42,908 between 2002 and 2010, £63,113 between 2002 and 2016 and £7,722 between 20002 and 2013.

The amounts were said to relate to income support, housing benefit and council tax relief received by Campbell when she had capital in excess of the permitted amount.

Campbell is also charged with fraud by claiming Jobseeker’s allowance and employment support allowance but failing to notify the Department for Work and Pensions of her true financial position.

Campbell entered pleas of not guilty to all the charges.

She was granted bail until the start of her trial on April 17.

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Burry Port RFC welcomes asset transfer

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BURRY PORT RFC has welcomed its takeover of its home base from Carmarthenshire County Council.

The Rugby Club has signed a 99 year lease for the playing fields and changing rooms at Burry Port Memorial Park as part of the county council’s asset transfer programme.

The club has also been awarded a Maintenance Grant to assist with maintaining the asset and an Improvement Grant to assist with making any improvement works they may wish to undertake.

Around 80 per cent of the county council’s recreation assets have already been transferred, or are nearing completion, to town or community councils, or community groups.

Two years ago the council’s executive board agreed a package to offer community councils or groups the opportunity to take over the running of facilities in their areas.

Councillors believe it gives local people greater control in the future of their area and their community.

Burry Port RFC secretary Jonathan Davies said the club accepted that changes had to be made although it would not have chosen it.

“In hindsight I think it is a positive thing for the club. It has increased the assets of the club and given members a sense of belonging to the park.”

Executive board member for assets Cllr David Jenkins said: “Unfortunately, we can no longer afford to maintain all the recreational assets in our portfolio.

“However, this is not just a cost saving exercise – communities are often best placed to manage facilities in their local environment.

“I’m pleased that Burry Port RFC has taken over and is looking forward to the future.”

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