Heroes honoured for fire ‘inferno’ rescue

George (left of pic), Doug (centre) and Matt with the firefighters from Rotherham Red watch
George (left of pic), Doug (centre) and Matt with the firefighters from Rotherham Red watch

HAVE-A-GO-HERO Doug Hughes has received a top award from the fire service, for his part in rescuing an elderly woman from a blazing house fire.

The Swinton man, a service manager for British Gas, was working at a house on Norstead Crescent, Bramley, last May when he noticed flames coming from a nearby bungalow.

A chip pan fire had caused flames to engulf the kitchen, leaving the occupant – 84-year-old Barbara Hughes – trapped inside.

Brave Doug, along with colleague Matt Goodison and neighbour George Edwards, rushed to the scene to come to her aid.

Doug forced his way inside to rescue the pensioner and pull her out of the blazing building to safety.

While neighbour George helped him with the rescue, Matt helped extinguish the flames after they had got Mrs Hughes out.

The heroic trio were presented with awards by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue chiefs in front of family members, local councillors and firefighters at Rotherham Fire Station on April 4.

Doug, 54, was rewarded with a Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation, which is the highest level of accolade the service offers for a heroic action at an operational incident.

Matt, 30, and George, 62, were both presented with Certificates of Appreciation – the second highest level of recognition.

Doug said: “I couldn’t believe the intensity of the blaze, and when I spotted the lady inside the house I knew I had to get in there quickly.

“She was obviously extremely frightened but thankfully, with the help of Matt and George, I was able to get her out safely.”

Matt, a technical service engineer for British Gas, said: “It was very much a joint effort and I’m just glad we arrived when we did because the fire was already intense.”

George added: “I’m pleased I was in the right place to be able to help.

“Being recognised is fantastic, and it makes me realise what a fantastic job firefighters do dealing with incidents like this day in, day out.”

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue’s Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Mark Shaw, heaped praise on the brave trio, saying: “Our normal advice to people in the event of a fire is to get out, stay out and call 999.

“However, we recognise that in exceptional circumstances such as this one, public acts of bravery are appropriate and should be recognised as such.”