HEROIC firefighters who crawled on their hands and knees through thick smoke to save the lives of two people on Christmas Eve have been commended for their bravery.
Adam Jones and David Dumigan, of South Shore Fire Station, successfully rescued an unconscious man and woman from a blazing flat on Blackpool Promenade.
Acrid smoke was pouring from the building and the outlook was bleak for the couple who were suffering from cardiac and respiratory arrest.
Both have now made a full recovery thanks to the work of the emergency crews who battled to save their lives.
A special ceremony was held at the St Annes Road station where the pair received commendations from Lancashire’s chief officer while watched by their families, the Red Watch Crew, paramedics and police officers.
Mr Jones, 44, from Anchorsholme, said: “The smoke level was very low and we had to crawl on our hands and knees and find them through touch and feel. We’re very proud to get the award but it really was through a huge team effort they survived.”
David, 39, from Lytham, added: “It was very rewarding knowing we helped to save their lives, especially on Christmas Eve.”
The fire broke out at the Barry Holiday Flats at 8.30am.
The couple had put food on to cook but then fallen asleep behind a settee, which made finding them in the pitch blackness even more difficult.
Crews were told there were persons trapped in the building on the way there giving them just seconds to plan the life saving rescue.
Peter Holland, chief fire officer for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “It’s a great honour for me to personally commend these men and recognise the tremendous teamwork which took place.
“We thought this would be a double fatality but their lives were saved.
“The support of their colleagues and other emergency services helped make sure these people survived.
“The rescue took place within four minutes of crews arriving, it is a terrific result.”
Paramedics worked on the couple for more than 20 minutes and both then spent days on ventilators in intensive care.