Hero builder raced into house fire
Kevin Butler, from Dinckley Grove, South Shore, was on his way home for lunch when he saw smoke billowing out of a neighbours’ home.
The 46-year-old abandoned his van in the street and ran towards the home to check if anyone was trapped inside.
He told The Gazette: “As I came down Kingsland Grove I could smell the smoke and I knew it was something like burning plastic and chemicals which meant it was a house fire.
“As I looked down the street I could see smoke pouring out the back of the house.
“I got to the property and saw a dog was trapped inside, then I looked through the letterbox and saw water pouring through the ceiling.
“I shouted in and there was no answer, I was about to break in when I heard the fire service.
“I wasn’t scared and I just wanted to get the people out.”
Four fire engines – three from Blackpool, one from South Shore and one from St Annes – tackled the fire, which began in the home’s bathroom and went into the loft before spreading to five other homes on the street.
Mr Butler left the fire service to break the door down and get the bulldog – named George – out of the building while he began helping other neighbours out of their homes on the street.
He added: “Smoke was pouring out of five properties and I could hear banging and cracking from them.
“If there had been somebody upstairs they wouldn’t have stood a chance.
“When I was standing there I heard a huge sound and there must have been 20 gallons of water pouring out of the upstairs windows.
“Once I saw the smoke was starting to travel I went to all the homes and helped them to get outside.”
Another Dinckley Grove resident, who did not want to be named, added: “Smoke was pouring out of the back and I heard the windows cracking.
“I got out straight away and called the fire brigade.”
The owner of the home was at work when the fire started and although two ambulances were called to the scene, nobody was taken to hospital.
Watch manager Ian Alder, from Blackpool Fire Station, said: “It was pandemonium when we got here and there was smoke coming from five properties.
“We don’t really know what has caused it at the moment, but the likely possibility is that it could be electrical.
“The bathroom has totally burned out and the ceiling is gone.”
The residents taken out of their homes were allowed back later in the day, however, the man who lives at the address was said to be looking for alternative accommodation.