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Two hailed heroes after fire rescue
A TEENAGER and a neighbour have been hailed heroes after rescuing an elderly lady from her burning bungalow.
Andrew Bannister, 15, and Colin Hughes, 60, pulled the distressed pensioner, thought to be in her 70s, to safety through a bathroom window after she became trapped by a fire in her kitchen.
The two have been praised by fire chiefs and are to be nominated for an official commendation.
But both were modest about their actions.
Mr Hughes said: “We’re not heroes. We’re just public spirited. You hope someone will be there for you if you need help.”
Andrew, a pupil at Durham Community Business College, added: “You couldn’t just ignore it, could you?”
It was another neighbour, Susan Turnbull, who raised the alarm after spotting smoke billowing from a home on Rowley Crescent, Esh Winning, County Durham, at about 5pm on Monday, February 4.
Mr Hughes, who lives across the street, and Andrew, who was visiting his grandmother nearby, rushed to the bungalow, to find the elderly occupant had become trapped in her bathroom by the blaze.
They snapped the window’s hinges and pulled the woman through the window to safety.
She was suffering from shock and smoke inhalation but was otherwise unhurt.
The kitchen was badly fire damaged and the rest of the bungalow was heavily smoke damaged.
Graeme Metcalf, assistant district manager with County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We don’t recommend anyone put themselves in danger in a fire. We recommend they get out, call the fire service and stay out.
“However, they’ve done a very worthwhile act of citizenship and we commend them for their civic-minded actions. Potentially, they saved the lady’s life.”
The cause of the fire is still being investigated. It is thought to have been an unattended cooking device.
The fire brigade is reminding householders to take care when cooking and never leave it unattended. Free smoke alarms are available. For a free home fire safety check, call 0191-332-4222. For more information, visit ddfire.gov.uk
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