Despite suffering burns and his hair setting alight during the blaze, Josh Turner’s quick-thinking actions saved his mum Jenna and their cat Amber when a fire broke out at their house on Dale Lane in Blidworth early one morning in February.
The blaze had started in the lounge due to an overheating portable heater, with Josh and his mum sleeping downstairs. Jenna’s leg was trapped in the sofa but Josh managed to free her and carry his mum out of the house to safety.
The 14-year-old was the Newark and Sherwood district winner of a Nottinghamshire County Council 2016 4Uth Award after being nominated for his selfless bravery by youth worker Karen Flynn.
Councillor Liz Plant, Vice-Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “This is a remarkable story and Josh deserves every accolade he receives for his truly heroic and quick thinking actions which saved his mother and their pet cat from this horrific fire. He is a deserving winner of the district award for Newark and Sherwood as part of the annual 4Uth awards.”
Mum Jenna said: “I am so proud of Josh. He puts everyone else first and he saved my life. I had got my leg trapped in the sofa and the room was on fire but he managed to free me, put me over his shoulder and carry me out of the house. I am so pleased he is being recognised through the 4Uth awards.”
Josh recounts what happened in a very matter of fact and understated way but, in spite of his modesty he is still receiving treatment for his injuries at the Queens Medical Centre. He may have to continue with this for a while yet. Staff at the hospital are delighted with him and his actions in saving his mother. Sadly, family cat Amber died a few weeks ago after being struck by a vehicle near their home.
The teenager is a pupil at Joseph Whitaker School and harbours aspirations to be an electrician. He also attends the mobile youth facility in Blidworth each week.
Youth worker Karen Flynn said: “Josh has attended our mobile provision for about a year. He enjoys the bus as a nice place to chill after school and to meet friends.
“In terms of the blaze at his house, the flames woke him up and his bed clothes were on fire so he threw them off the bed and manage to free his mum and then pick her up over his shoulder and carry her outside the house. Josh then went back inside looking for the cat and fell. He received serious burns to his face, neck and hand. The cat was taken outside and then Josh phoned the emergency services for help.
“As his youth worker I have observed his behaviour as understated and modest. I and the other young people on the mobile are so proud of him and his courageous actions.”
Josh will receive his award at a special ceremony at County Hall on October 28 when the overall countywide winner will be announced.
Other winners include:
Ashfield: Brodie Colton, 18, has campaigned about youth issues in her local area
Bassetlaw: Bradley White, 12, successfully living active life despite rare genetic condition
Mansfield: George Dove, 18, tireless international ambassador related to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)
Brodie Colton, of Stanton Hill, is a member of Quarrydale Young People’s Centre, and was nominated for the 4Uth awards for her involvement in a campaign to keep the centre open.
Last November, the council council outlined a proposal to seek an alternative provider to manage the centre, adding that if the search was not successful, it may have to close.
But after listening to the views of young people, including 18-year-old Brodie, it was announced in February tat the centre would stay open.
Bradley White has received an award because of the way he had coped with the effects of physical disability to take on challenges in his life.
The 12-year-old, who lives in Harworth, has a genetic condition but refuses to let it stop him from succeeding in life.
He plays football for his local team and has a keen interest in drama.
His dad Pete, 48, said: “We are very proud of Bradley. He just gets on with things and does not let things get him down and it is very pleasing that he is being recognised through the county council’s 4Uth awards.”
George Dove has spent a number of years campaiging and fundraising for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and has even been invited to Capitol Hill in America to speak about his experiences.
The 18-year-old, from Ashfield Avenue, Mansfield, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at just eight-years-old. But he has not let diabetes overwhelm him and has since worked tirelessly to raise money for the charity.
Councillor Liz Plant, Vice-Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “George is also very committed to campaigning for the provision of specialist insulin pumps for children and young people. These allow people to be involved in more activities and are designed to ensure that they are excluded less and less from the sort of things people without diabetes take for granted.”