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Fire hero kicks down door to save neighbour

Reporter: Rosalyn Roden
Date online: 01 June 2017

A MAN was hailed a hero for risking his life to save his next door neighbour as a fire engulfed the ground floor of his home.

James Paul (26) kicked down the front door of the house in Denbigh Street, Mossley, when he realised his neighbour was still inside and dragged him to safety.

The man - understood to be around 40 - was treated by paramedics for smoke inhalation but declined hospital treatment.

James, who was alerted by partner Katie Elliott, said: "I saw smoke coming over the back garden and his kitchen was alight. I started calling his name and banging on the door.

"We hammered the door down and smoke flooded into our faces and burnt our eyes.

"I saw just enough of his legs on the floor in the hallway so grabbed a towel to cover my head, ran in and dragged him out."

He added: "I didn't really think about it. Fight-or-flight syndrome kicked in.

"I wanted to do the right thing."

James and another resident remained with their neighbour until fire crews and police officers arrived at the incident shortly after 11.30pm on Tuesday (30).

Firefighters from Stalybridge, Oldham and Mossley were called to the blaze which originated in the kitchen and caused smoke damage downstairs.

Stalybridge watch manager Greg Punshon, who remained at the scene until 2am, said: "The house was well-alight. Flames were issuing from the rear. The kitchen was gutted."

Katie said: "I was so panicked. His back window had blown out and there were flames everywhere. My house was smoking.

"I was shouting and banging on neighbours' doors and windows to get help.

"James rescued him. He went in and dragged him out. He's the hero.

"One more minute and he would have perished."

Other neighbours reported that they were woken by the smell of fire while others said they heard screaming.

Jenny Urlwin, of Denbigh Street, who dialled 999, said: "I heard a lot of noise in the night. There was a lady shouting and screaming.

"I looked outside the back window and could smell fire and see plumes of smoke.

"I ran out the front of the house and the householder was lying on the floor."

Dog owner Jenny took the man's American Bulldog / Pit Bull mix, called Tiny, into her care until a friend was able to collect him.


Well it seems people don't like to comment on good things on here, well done James.


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