A CAR wash owner has been hailed a hero after he went into a burning building to rescue an elderly man.

There was thick black smoke inside the house on Long Street, Thirsk, when Ismail Kadeh entered it with two members of his staff from the Shiny Star Hand Car Wash.

He said he had seen smoke coming out of the windows on Thursday afternoon and then gone in when a woman said there was someone inside. "She said he needed help," he said.

The Northern Echo:

Ismail Kadeh

He said they found the man, carried him to safety outside and left him with family members until an ambulance arrived.

Neighbour Jayne Robson described the car wash men as heroes.

She said: "It was frightening. I live next door and the men at the car wash were heroes. With no hesitation, they went into the burning house and saved the man's life and then just got back to work.

"Thank you to them and then the firefighters and police who did their job and do so every day."

A fire investigation officer said the cause was accidental. It is believed something had been left too close to a fire and overheated.

Fire engines from Thirsk, Ripon, Boroughbridge and Northallerton and an aerial turntable ladder from Huntington were sent to the blaze.

Eyewitness Stephen Knowlson said he saw flames coming out of a ground floor window and smoke billowing out from a first floor window and the roof.

He then saw people from the car wash carrying an elderly man out of the house.

Another witness, Rochelle Petty, of Boston Spa, said she saw smoke from some miles away as she approached Thirsk on the A168.

She said that as she reached the street, she could see flames coming out of the window. "There was also thick black smoke. It was really quite bad," she said.

"I could see a man sitting against a wall, with people around him. The ambulance and fire engines hadn't arrived at that stage."

The car wash said on Facebook: "Well, I'm proud of our carwash today. A fire breaks out across the road and quickly were to the rescue into the blazing house and brought out the old man, just as the emergency services arrived. Glad we were able to help and bring him out safely. Hope he is ok."