A QUICK-thinking Chepstow couple helped to carry their elderly neighbours to safety after a fire broke out at their block of flats.

The blaze, thought to have started in a bin, started at just after midnight on Saturday, July 31.

Shelbie Hampsey was in her partner's kitchen at Cherry Orchard, in the Garden City area of the town, when they noticed an orange light.

"I ran to the front room and looked out the window to see a big blaze," she explained.

"Everyone was panicking, we thought were we weren't going to survive."



Ms Hampsey said that the fire was so large that the only way out was to go to the rear of the property.

"I began banging everyones door," she said.

Upon reaching the door of her elderly neighbour, closest to the fire, Ms Hampsey discovered that the lady did not have full use of her legs and suffered from epilepsy.

"We had to lift her over the wall and place her in a passer-by's car," said Ms Hampsey who, along with partner Nathan Gaskin, carried another disabled neighbour to safety and called for an ambulance.

  • The arrival of a new baby is always a happy time for every family. Share the good news with us and our readers by clicking here to submit information and pictures.

She said that she had heard "lots of bangs and explosions" as the fire spread, but that the firefighters - now on-scene - had been "amazing".

"If this fire was any later it would have been a thousand times worse," she said.

"It was one of the scariest times of my life, but we did it with not too much panic."

She said that one of the neighbour's carried to safety was concerned not for her own safety, but that of her plants.

"The most wonderful thing the old lady asked me after the blaze was whether her plants were ok," said Ms Hampsey.

"I was delighted to tell her the plants were fine."