TWO men have been hailed as heroes for tackling a fire in the historic heart of York and saving the city's oldest row of properties.

These images show how quick thinking and brave actions by two unnamed men not only put out the fire in a doorway of Happy Valley Chinese restaurant in Our Lady's Row in Goodramgate, but saved this 700 year-old property and its neighbouring shop, Little Yorkshire Candle Company, from potential ruin.

The fire took hold just after midnight, in the early hours of Tuesday morning, in rubbish bags left outside the Chinese restaurant.

CCTV footage shows that within five minutes of the fire starting, two men, dressed in shorts, and armed with large plastic buckets full of water, ran towards the blaze in an effort to put it out.

The video footage also shows them risking their own wellbeing to kick the burning rubbish bags into the street and away from the historic building which dates back to 1316.

Our Lady's Row is considered to be the the oldest surviving group of properties in York.

Junyue Tan, manager of Happy Valley restaurant, today praised the two men - who have yet to be identified - and called them "heroes".

He said: "They are real heroes - they have saved one of York's oldest buildings."

Junyue estimates the repair bill will be thousands of pounds - but knows it could have been a lot worse.

The Northern Echo: Mystery heroes run with buckets of water to put out the fireMystery heroes run with buckets of water to put out the fire

CCTV also shows another passerby calling the emergency services. Fire crews, alerted by police, responded at 12.38am, and spent one hour at the property. The damage was contained to the outside of the building, destroying a door that leads to the restaurant's store room, with some damage to the outside wall and timber above the doorframe.

Junyue said: "We have narrowly escaped a disaster. The door is completely burnt down and there is smoke damage and damage to the timber frame.

"The two people who came with buckets of water have saved the building and the restaurant."

And he had this message for the two men: "I really want to thank you very much for putting the fire out and to the person who called the police and fire brigade."

The Northern Echo: Junyue Tan of Happy Valley Chinese restaurant stand by the fire damage to his building in GoodramgateJunyue Tan of Happy Valley Chinese restaurant stand by the fire damage to his building in Goodramgate

Alex Hall, owner of the neighbouring shop, The Little Yorkshire Candle Company (LYCC), posted a tearful video on Instagram following the fire.

Both she and Junyue said the fire had been the latest set back after a difficult 18 months for the businesses. Despite the blaze, both business have been able to remain open.

In a post on Instagram Alex said: "I won’t pretend I’m not feeling flat and demotivated. After the immense struggles of the last 18 months this last set back feels like the straw that broke the camel's back.

The Northern Echo: Alex Hall, left, outside The Little Yorkshire Candle Company in GoodramgateAlex Hall, left, outside The Little Yorkshire Candle Company in Goodramgate

"The what ifs, the fact of it being such a close escape for the end of LYCC has left me shaken.

"Luckily the fire was put out before it took hold on our medieval row.

"Today is a new day and the shop is open. We would love to welcome you in the shop and talk candles and happy things and not the obvious blackened entrance."

She finished with the hashtag: #welivetofightanotherday.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said a 34-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident. He was charged with two counts of arson and three counts of arson with intent to endanger life and was remanded in custody. He appeared before York Magistrates' Court on Wednesday and was remanded in custody and is due to appear at York Crown Court on September 13.

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