AN ambulance crew got stuck in with their vehicle’s fire extinguisers after spotting a house on fire on their way back from a callout.

Student paramedic Karen Dodman and emergency medical technician Shane Hodgson, were returning from a call when they drove past the house, in Landermere Road, Thorpe-le-Soken.

They stopped, called firefighters, then grabbed a pair of fire extinguishers from the back of the ambulance and started to tackle the flames.

The occupants, a married couple aged 83 and 70, had already managed to get of out the house, but were in shock and worried about their pets, which were still inside.

Ms Dodman said: “We took our two fire extinguishers and Shane went in the house to try to put it out.

“He came back, but when he tried to go back inside it was too hot, so we smashed a window and tried again.

“The couple were already out of the premises, but they suffered some shock and they were particularly worried about their pets, including two dogs and some birds.

“Thankfully, they were OK apart from the shock, and didn’t need any treatment.”

Police closed part of Landermere Road while fire crews from Weeley and Frinton dealt with the blaze, which had started in the semi-detached house shortly after 9am yesterday. Firefighters wore breathing apparatus, and put out the fire using one high-pressure hose.

Sub officer Andrew Bishop, from Frinton fire station, said: “The quick actions of the firefighters prevented the fire from spreading and it was confined to one room in the house, though the rest of the property was smoke damaged.”

The fire was out by 9.45am, but the road stayed closed until about 11.30am. It is thought to have been started by an electrical fault, but EDF energy engineers have yet to confirm this.