A MAN rescued from his burning flat after his pregnant girlfriend arrived at the property and smelled smoke was in a critical but stable condition in intensive care this week.
Birenda Raj Basnet is being treated at St John’s Hospital, Livingston, after suffering burns from the kitchen fire in his first floor Lawson Street flat last Wednesday evening.
Fire crews were alerted at 6.25pm by neighbour Pearl Wilkie (29). Mr Basnet’s girlfriend had summoned her for help.
Mum-of-one Pearl said: “I opened the window and she said ‘Can you help me, I’m trying to get into my boyfriend’s, I’m not getting any answer and I can smell smoke.’
“She was really worried about him and panicking quite a bit and I tried to calm her down.”
Two fire engines attended within minutes and Pearl said firefighters had to break down the front door to enter.
“I could see the flames coming out the kitchen window and the black smoke was filling everywhere. It was really thick, chokey smoke like charcoal.”
Pearl said Mr Basnet had only lived in the flat for three or four weeks. Her cousin Maureen Trowell (43) stays opposite.
Maureen said: “I saw him getting carried out unconscious. Three firemen were carrying him out to the ambulance.”
She added: “He had not long moved in. They were moving stuff in and decorating.”
Alex Smart, Fife Fire and Rescue Service group manager, said: “The crews did a very good job in bringing him out so quickly and handing him over to paramedics.”
He confirmed an investigation into the cause was on-going.
A police spokesman said it was believed to be completely accidental and no criminal investigation was being conducted.