Published: 22/05/2019

One of our Live-in Carer's, Gill Laidlaw, was tested to the limit in an unexpected fire at a customer's home - click here to read more!

One of our Live-in Carer's, Gill Laidlaw, was tested to the limit in an unexpected fire at a customer's home...

Crash! It was approx. 3am on Wednesday 11th January when Gill, who was on a weeks live-in with Mrs. C, woke with a start. She could smell smoke and instantly knew that something was wrong. Why wouldn’t the lamp switch on? The electricity must have gone off thought Gill.  Luckily she kept a torch bedside the bed so she grabbed it and flew into action. In the dark, she ran into Mrs. C’s bedroom, grabbed the wheelchair and managed to get the bewildered, elderly lady into it within seconds. Gill pushed Mrs. C through the house, which was now beginning to fill with smoke, collected the dog on route and got them all outside to safety. Gill pressed Mrs. C’s Lifeline and asked them to call the fire brigade, immediately!

Feeling rather shaky, Gill called Bluebird Care’s out-of-hours on call service and, Fiona who was on duty that night, said she would get over to Gill as soon as possible.

Fiona woke her two young children and quickly made arrangements for them to be cared for. After dropping them off with a family member she sped off to Gill’s aid, declaring that she would explain all to her bemused family later.
After what seemed like an eternity Gill breathed a sigh of relief as she could see the fire engines making their way down the narrow lanes of Portmellon. About time she thought!

The fire fighters quickly located the fire, in a cupboard in the hallway, extinguished it and managed to make the area safe enough for Gill to go back in. Typical she thought, the one time I’m escorted into the bedroom by a male fire fighter and I haven’t even got my lippy on!

On autopilot again, Gill hurriedly packed her belongings and a bag for Mrs. C. How she remembered so many important items, such as medication, blankets and false teeth is anyone’s guess!

Fiona and Mrs. C headed off to the office and having made arrangements for the dog, Josh, to be looked after by a neighbour, Gill, followed in her own car.

Once at the office and after plenty of tea and biscuits, Gill supported Mrs. C to have a wash and get dressed while they anxiously waited to hear if the care home in Tregony had a vacant room. The long-awaited call came at about 8.30am informing us that Mrs. C could be dropped off at the care home immediately. ‘Thank goodness’ thought Gill as she packed up the car with Melissa and they both took a tired and rather confused Mrs. C off to her new home.

Having ensured that Mrs. C was settled, Gill finally took herself off to A&E to get checked. She had inhaled quite a lot of smoke and we all needed to know that she was okay. After getting the all clear from the hospital, Gill took herself home for a shower and a well earnt rest.
This story could have ended very differently but Gill kept a clear head and ensured the safety of herself and her customer at all times. We are all incredibly proud of Gill’s actions that night, ‘thank you’ and well done!

UPDATE 27TH January 2017:
Gill and Melissa hit the headlines this week thanks to Gill’s bravery when fire broke out in a customer’s home. Click on the link below to read the full article