Neighbours praised for rescuing Bradford pensioner from flat fire (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Neighbours praised for rescuing Bradford pensioner from flat fire
11:00am Friday 1st March 2013 in News
A pensioner broke down in tears yesterday as he thanked neighbours who saved him from a flat fire.
Charles Firth insisted he would be dead if it was not for the brave actions of three of his neighbours.
Sobbing, the 66-year-old said: “They saved my life – I am very thankful to all of them. They dragged me out. I’ve still got the shakes.”
Mr Firth said he had nodded off on the sofa while watching television at his flat on Hallwood Green, Ravenscliffe, on Wednesday night.
He was woken by neighbour and friend Charles Smith, who was returning home from the shops. He had been alerted to a smell of smoke by fellow neighbour Julie Shaw.
Mr Smith, 47, rushed into Mr Firth’s first-floor flat and discovered a fire in the bedroom.
“I opened the bedroom door and the fire flew out,” said Mr Smith.
“I tried to throw something on it, but it was too fierce, so I managed to shut the door. My eyes were watering straight away.
“It was pitch black with smoke inside the flat.”
Mr Smith dragged his friend from the flat with the help of Miss Shaw’s boyfriend Steve.
“I wouldn’t have got him down without Steve’s help,” said Mr Smith, who also rescued Mr Firth’s dog Holly.
Mr Smith played down his heroic act, saying: “It was automatic. We have known each other for a lot of years and as long as he is okay, that’s the main thing. The firefighters thanked me last night, but said it was a stupid thing to do.”
A spokesman from Idle station praised the neighbours. He said: “They saved his life. They did really well.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation. The spokesman added that the flat had no working smoke alarms.
All four people involved suffered smoke inhalation, but none went to hospital.
Charred remains of two mattresses remained scattered outside the flat last night.