A Horncastle couple are looking forward to a happy and trouble free new year after a torrid 2013.
Allan Bradshaw says he was lucky to escape with his life after fire ripped through their home in College Park last September.
He has urged other householders to fit working smoke alarms after revealing they helped him survive the blaze.
His wife, June, has spent the last 12 months bravely recovering from a heart condition, diagnosed in 2012.
Allan told the News: “After everything we’ve been through, we are hoping the only way is up.”
The couple have thanked emergency services for their response to the house fire at the end of September.
They have also paid tribute to doctors and staff at the Tetford-based Wolds Medical Practice which was criticised in a recent report.
Mr Bradshaw said that without the quick-thinking of doctors - and the on-going support of staff - he is convinced his wife would have died.
Mrs Bradshaw was treated by the Tetford practice and immediately rushed into Louth Hospital and then onto a specialised unit in Grimsby.
Mr Bradshaw said his wife was suffering from an embolism but had made a full recovery with staff at the Wolds Practice playing a leading role. Although Mr and Mrs Bradshaw live in Horncastle, they registered at the Tetford-based surgery eight or nine years ago.
Mr Bagshaw explained: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw the headlines in the News about the problems there.
“What was said is rubbish - absolute rubbish. To my mind, they are absolutely brilliant - the doctors, the surgery, the service, everything. They spotted the problem with my wife straight away. She was rushed to hospital in Louth and then onto Grimsby.
“She made a full recovery and it was because the doctors at Tetford reacted so quickly.
“If they hadn’t, I know my wife wouldn’t be here today.
“You read all about the problems in the NHS but honestly, the people at Tetford couldn’t do enough.
“They’ve been a big help to both of us. They deserve an award for what they are doing.”
As for Mr Bradshaw, he admitted he ‘cheated’ death after the fire at their home.
Mr Bradshaw, a former school crossing patrol officer, was watching TV downstairs.
A fire - apparently caused by an electrical fault - started upstairs.
Fortunately, a smoke alarm alerted Mr Bradshaw and he managed to escape the burning building.
Mr Bradshaw explained: “When the alarm sounded, I rushed upstairs but the fire had already taken hold.
“Flames and smoke were everywhere.
“I ripped the curtains down and tried to put the fire out.
“I tried throwing a chair through a window but it wouldn’t break.
“Fortunately, I managed to get out - but only just. It all happened so fast.
“Five fire engines turned up with all the breathing equipment.
“The house was a real mess and I was very lucky. If that alarm hadn’t gone off, I wouldn’t be here.”
Mr and Mrs Bradshaw are living in temporary accommodation in a Wolds village but hope to return to their home after repairs have been carried out.
Mr Bradshaw added: “There’s a load of work needs doing. The roof might need to come off. Everything is in the hands of our insurers.
“The local fire service were brilliant. They are great lads.
“You could say we were both happy to see the back of 2013.
“Hopefully, 2014 will be a lot better.”