A woman died in a house fire because she refused to leave her ‘soulmate’ who she mistakenly believed was still trapped inside.
Melissa Shaw described how her mother Gail Lamb, 55, stayed in her burning house in Saline, Fife, on Friday night, because she thought her husband Derek, 62, was still inside.
But Derek had already escaped the inferno through the back of the house without his wife realising.
Neighbours tried to save Gail by climbing up a ladder to the top floor of their two-storey house but she refused to leave, saying: ‘Where is Derek?’
Speaking to a local newspaper today, Melissa, 35, said: ‘It’s like a tragic love story. My mum and Derek were just made for each other and idolised each other.’
Neighbour Shelley White said: ‘I saw the fire and ran outside but by this time my neighbours had already rung the emergency services.
‘You could feel the heat from the house and the smoke was immense.
‘Our neighbour, Sid, grabbed Gail’s hand from the top of the ladders and told her to get out but all she said was: ‘Where is Derek?’
‘She went back into the house looking for him but Sid managed to grab her hand for a second time and he was just screaming at her to get out but she wouldn’t leave Derek.
‘There was nothing we could do, the fire was too bad.’
Derek and Gail had been together for nearly 30 years before the horrific blaze broke out at their home on Friday night.
The blaze is believed to have started from an electrical appliance in the kitchen downstairs.
The couple were both asleep at the time of the fire, when Gail woke up first.
Both exits of the house were completely blocked by fire so Gail screamed for help at the front of the building while Derek shouted at the back.
Derek then managed to escape through the back of the the property but had said that he couldn’t see a thing and he had ‘no idea’ where Gail was.
Gail was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Since the incident, Derek has been telling family members that he has lost his ‘soulmate’.
Tributes of flowers have been left outside Gail and Derek’s home in Saline since the fire.
A GoFundMe page has also been set up for the family by Laura Chesby, where £3900 has currently been raised.
The page read: ‘Help support Gail Lamb’s family. On Friday evening a horrendous fire claimed the life of Gail Lamb.
‘Family, friends and the community are devastated by what’s happened. If anyone is able to make a donation to help the family at this awful time it would be appreciated.’