A DINNINGTON hero who rescued a couple from a burning Thurcroft flat has been rewarded for his actions.
Tony Whitehouse, 33, acted quickly after spotting smoke billowing from the kitchen window of the flat on Aymer Drive in April.
He forced entry into the property and led an elderly woman to safety, before he returned to the flat to rescue her husband,
Tony and the couple’s next door neighbour Fred Geffin then put the fire out using a garden hose. Tony’s brother Stefan gave first aid to the injured man.
Tony has been awarded a Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation - the highest fire service award a member of the public can be given for displaying life saving bravery.
Stefan has also been recognised for his action, with the award of certificate of appreciation.
Tony, of St Leger Close, said: “It was just instinct, I just did it.”
“I was going home after visiting my parents house.”
“I forced the porch in and helped the woman out first. I couldn’t see anything because it was thick with smoke, so I had to follow her voice.”
“I went back in for the old man and got him out.”
“The neighbour next door helped me put out the fire in the kitchen, while Stefan gave the man first aid.”
“It was just hectic, just crazy. I’d just got the man out and all the emergency services arrived.”
Tony was presented with his certificate at a formal ceremony in front of fire crews, family and friends at Maltby Fire Station, Rotherham.
He added: “It was a brilliant day. They said they didn’t give out many of these awards. I was really proud.”
Assistant chief fire officer Neil Hessell, said: “This was a life-saving rescue which Tony carried out on instinct and with little thought for his own safety.”
“Such potentially dangerous rescues are usually dealt with by professional fire crews but had it not been for Tony’s swift and decisive actions in the very early stages of the fire, then this incident would have been a great deal more serious.”
“Our normal advice to people in the event of a fire is to get out, stay out and call 999. However, we recognise that in exceptional circumstances such as this one, public acts of bravery are appropriate and should be recognised as such.”