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Woman makes lucky escape from Holloway fire

PUBLISHED: 17:27 01 July 2011 | UPDATED: 17:03 04 July 2011

Martin Tolka and Julia Poliscuka

Martin Tolka and Julia Poliscuka

Archant

A woman made a dramatic escape after a neighbour warned her of a fire ripping through the takeaway under her flat.

Julia Poliscuka, 28, was on her own at her home in York Way, Holloway, on Wednesday (June 29), unaware that beneath her Pizza Direct was being ravaged by flames.

Then Korsak Wojciec, who runs the internet cafe next door, noticed the blaze and saw she was still upstairs, so he yelled at her to get out.

Ms Poliscuka said: “I noticed the smoke and I thought it might be cables because it smelt of plastic. Then suddenly it started coming from everywhere; behind the washing machine and in the bathroom. The rooms were really filling up. I looked outside and the guy from next door shouted at me to run. I had to fight my way through the smoke to get downstairs, it was horrible.”

Mr Wojciech, 46, said: “I saw the smoke, then after one minute there was fire everywhere. I ran outside and the flames were so big. I saw her at the window and I said ‘come down, get out, don’t wait’.”

Six fire engines and around 30 fire fighters were called to tackle the blaze, which lasted for more than an hour and gutted the restaurant.

Ms Poliscuka’s boyfriend Martin Tolko, 30, was at work as a security guard when he heard the news.

He said: “She rang up and told me - I put the phone down and rushed home, I was so scared for her. When I got back the street was closed and there were fire engines everywhere, but she was safe.

“If it had happened at night, we would have been finished.“

The gas and electricity supply to the building remain shut off and Mr Tolko is worried about where they will stay.

“We are waiting for the insurance company to tell us what will happen,” he said. “Even if the electricity was working, the smell is terrible and everything is completely ruined. The whole flat needs refurbishing and we have nowhere to go.”

Watch Manager Pyle from Euston Fire Station, who was in charge of the scene, said: “When we arrived the ground floor was about 40 percent alight and smoke was leaking into the flats. We kept the fire at that level with hoses then crews went inside with breathing apparatus to put it out. I estimate there was 100 per cent damage to the ground floor from the flames and smoke damage to the flats above.”

The cause of the is still under investigation, but is not being treated as suspicious.


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