AN EASTERN European housekeeper who rescued an elderly countess from a burning building has been rewarded for her bravery.
Eva Pollakova (55) was awarded a Certificate of Distinguished Conduct by Fife Fire and Rescue Service after saving her employer’s life in October last year.
Dressed only in night attire, Ms Pollakova guided the 99-year-old Dowager Countess of Dundee to safety during the early-morning blaze at Coultra Farm House near Gauldry.
She then braved burns and smoke inhalation to run barefoot to nearby cottages and raise the alarm.
The Dowager Countess, who turned 100 just days after the fire, was taken to hospital as a precaution but — thanks to her Czech housekeeper’s courage — escaped the terrifying ordeal relatively unscathed.
Ms Pollakova was awarded her certificate by Chief Fire Officer Neil McFarlane at a ceremony in Kirkcaldy recognising gallantry among firefighters and members of the public.
The Dowager Countess’ daughter, Janet Fox-Pitt, told the Fife Herald her mother was still fighting fit and that Ms Pollakova was “fully deserving” of her award.
She said: “Eva was very brave — I’m full of admiration for her.She got my mother out of the house very quickly, instinctively making all the right decisions.She then had to run up the road for help barefoot in just her nightie.
“I told her she’d saved my mother’s life and she simply said, ‘It wasn’t me, it was God’.She has her certificate now and she’s fully deserving of it.”
Firefighters from Cupar and Auchtermuchty arrived on the scene at around 1.30am on October 6.
As the blaze escalated they were joined by crews from as far afield as Glenrothes, Methil, Kirkcaldy and Lochgelly.