Heroes dragged man from burning building

Two have-a-go heroes who ran into a burning North Shore flat and pulled a 50-year-old man to safety outside have been praised.

Friday, 20th May 2016, 10:47 am
Updated Friday, 20th May 2016, 1:16 pm
Martin Devon, with friend Luke Evans, ran into a burning flat Pleasant Street and rescued a man in his fifties.
Martin Devon, with friend Luke Evans, ran into a burning flat Pleasant Street and rescued a man in his fifties.

Martin Devon and Luke Evans battled through thick black smoke to rescue the man, who was disorientated and unable to escape the blaze himself.

Martin, 31, of Reads Avenue, central Blackpool, said: “I took a few breaths and put my hood up.

“Because the man would not move, we thought he would die if we didn’t get him out.

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“He was just sat there.”

The emergency services were called to the fire, in Pleasant Street, at 8.44pm on Saturday, to reports of a man trapped inside a blaze.

Three fire engines, from Blackpool and Bispham, attended, with crews entering the large four-storey building to tackle the flames.

Their logs show two men – Martin and Luke – had braved the danger to help the stranger, who was later taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital suffering from 
the effects of smoke inhalation.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman John Taylor said: “When there’s a fire, we ask people get out and let the fire service do its job.

“But people are motivated by public spirit and you have to give them credit for that.

“All we can say is we strongly recommend people don’t do it, while also recognising people do take that risk.

“It can so easily end in tragedy.

“Firefighters are trained and equipped, and nobody else is, it’s as simple as that.

“We must emphasise it’s immensely dangerous to go into a burning building.”

Martin, and Luke, of Clifford Road, North Shore, were walking into the town centre at around 8pm when they first saw the smoke.

“We thought it was burned toast,” Martin said.

“But then we heard a woman screaming her boyfriend was in there, and there was a fire.”

The pair banged on a window and were let into the building by a resident, while passers-by watched the drama fold from outside.

Martin said: “When I first went in, I had to run back out because the smoke was thick and it was burning my throat.”

But after pulling his hood up, Martin, along with Luke, battled his way through the darkness to the top of the building.

They came across the man’s flat, saw the door was already open, and found him sat on the couch inside, with flames around him.

“He was distressed,” Martin added.

“He wouldn’t get out but the smoke was that thick we just wanted to get him out for his own safety.

“I don’t think he acknowledged that his flat was burning.

“We had to force him out.”

The pair then led the man, who was coughing, over to paramedics, who treated him before taking him to Blackpool Victoria Hospital for a check-up, a spokeswoman for the North West Ambulance Service said.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated, Mr Taylor added.