Heroic neighbour hailed in flat fire rescue drama

Sandhurst Avenue Flat Fire, Bispham

Sandhurst Avenue Flat Fire, Bispham

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An heroic neighbour has today told of the moment he sprinted to his nearest fire station to help save a neighbour from a blaze in his flat.

Kieran Bradbury said “instinct kicked in” as he ran 100 yards to Bispham Fire Station to alert crews, after spotting thick smoke billowing out of the window of a neighbouring property in Sandhurst Avenue on Thursday night.

And the 29-year-old’s quick-thinking and calm actions were today hailed by fire crews after the man was rescued, with one crew manager warning “he might not have survived” without help from emergency services.

Mr Bradbury, who was at home with wife Deborah, said he hammered on his neighbour’s door in a bid to raise him – before realising the property was on fire.

He added: “I got home around 9.45pm as I was working late.

“We were just at home and there was a smell of smoke which just kept getting stronger and stronger.

“I walked around the flat and could not see anything burning.

“I went down to the ground floor flat below and started banging on the door to see if it was him – then I went outside and spotted smoke coming out of one of the vents into his home.”

After spotting the smoke, the Sainsbury’s worker said he raced across the road to Bispham Fire Station, alerting crews who arrived within minutes.

He added: “Instinct kicked in – I told the fire crews and they arrived within seconds.

“The crews had to kick the door in – the smoke just billowed out of the front door, it had clearly built up quickly.

“It turned out a pan had been left on the hob. The guy was taken out and treated by paramedics for smoke inhalation.”

The occupant of the flat was taken to hospital following treatment at the scene.

Mr Bradbury admitted he felt “proud” of his actions, adding he would not hesitate to help again.

He said: “I feel a little bit of pride. I would not say I am a hero, but I would do it again tomorrow.

“It is lucky the firefighters were so close to help out.”

The incident saw two crews from Bispham and one from Blackpool battle the fire for more than an hour.

And fire crews today said without Mr Bradbury’s intervention, the situation could have been far more serious.

Bispham Fire Station crew manager Stuart Higson said: “If it had been in the early hours of the morning there would have been a lot longer delay in alerting fire crews.

“It was only because it was a fairly respectable hour and the neighbour was alert – two or three hours later would have been a totally different matter.

“The alarm was raised by a neighbour who could smell smoke.

“It was fortunate he contacted us so quickly. You could certainly call his actions heroic. Within minutes we were at the property and used a battering ram to break down the front door.

“Because of the build up of smoke, fumes came billowing out through the corridor.

“We moved quickly through each room and found the man asleep in his bedroom. We pulled him out to safety at the front of the building.

“There was a pan left on the stove which had overheated.

“Fortunately, the door to his bedroom was shut, which saved him.

“He had a smoke alarm fitted, but it was not working.

“The kitchen and hallway was smoke logged. If it had not been for the door being closed to his bedroom he might not have survived.”

Crew manager Higson added the incident should serve as a warning to all Fylde coast residents.

He said: “In the lead-up to Christmas, this highlights having a working smoke alarm fitted even more.

“A lot more works night outs take place with people having food before bed and deciding to cook.

“You need to have a working smoke alarm. It only takes a few gulps of smoke to become overcome, unconscious and for something more serious to happen.”