Brothers are reunited after 27 years with firemen in iconic blaze tragedy picture

‘Firefighters saved my life on that day, 100 per cent’

Brian Saville, Mark and Terry Robson and Paul Mangeolles

Paul rescuing the young Terry

Brian with young Mark in his arms

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , City Hall Reporter

It has been 27 years since two-year-old Terry Robson was carried to an ambulance by a firefighter after a tragic blaze which claimed the life of his mother.

The moment was captured on camera and became an iconic firefighting image that went round the world.

Terry was badly burned in the flat fire in Allerton, Bradford, in 1987, as was elder brother Mark, three.

Now both brothers have been reunited with the firefighter in the photograph, Paul Mangeolles, as well as the man who took it, retired brigade photographer Brian Saville.

Terry, now 28, contacted West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service after spotting the picture in a new book called Images of Fire, a compilation of 40 years’ of brigade photographs.

He said: “It means a lot to meet Paul, words can’t describe it. I have been wanting to meet him for years. The firefighters saved my life on that day, 100 per cent.”

Mr Mangoeolles, who is now retired, said he remembered the children were out of the flat by the time he arrived at the scene.

He said: “The two children were lying on a blanket and I went over and saw one child and I saw the ambulance come in. I picked the child up and took him to the ambulance and that’s when the photo got taken.”

He said their mother had dropped her children off a second-floor balcony to some neighbours, but then sadly died.

He said: “Every time I look at the picture it brings back memories of that day. I have the picture hanging up in my hallway. I wondered what happened to the lads.

“You go home with a heavy heart and go back to your station and talk about it and don’t know what’s happened afterwards because the ambulance has taken them away.

“To see Terry and Mark is a wonderful feeling, to know that they have grown up to be men and are happy and have had a good life.”

Following the fire, Terry spent 18 months in hospital being treated for burns to his head and hands. He lost a finger and underwent numerous operations to his badly-burned left hand. Mark’s burns were less severe but he also spent time in hospital.

Terry said the tragedy had never held them back. He said: “My dad was there to make sure we had everything that we could. My burns have never bothered me. I was so young I did not know any different.”

Mark, of Whetley Hill, Bradford, said: “It means the world to us to see Paul again. We hope our story brings home the importance of fire safety in the home.”

Comments (2)

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12:26pm Tue 13 May 14

Victor Clayton says...

well done lads
well done lads Victor Clayton
  • Score: 3

9:19pm Tue 13 May 14

Bradfordian1 says...

Sort their pensions out they deserve it
We don't want firefighters into their sixties having to make rescues!
Well done guys you do a great job
Sort their pensions out they deserve it We don't want firefighters into their sixties having to make rescues! Well done guys you do a great job Bradfordian1
  • Score: 0

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