Quick-thinking workmen praised for fire rescue at Grimsby home
TWO workmen who rescued a sleeping man from a fire that tore through the roof of a Grimsby home have been praised by firefighters.
Quick-thinking Mark Edwards and Tony Brannan climbed onto the porch of a house in Yarrow Road and banged on the bedroom window to wake up Rob Fox, who was fast asleep in the house next door to the blaze.
The roof of the affected property was well alight and there was "serious risk" that the flames would spread to the buildings either side.
Despite this, Mr Brannan, owner of Burning Sensations in Armstrong Street, climbed onto the porch roof of the home – just feet away from the fire – and frantically banged on the bedroom window to wake the 46-year-old man up.
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The pair had been fitting a fire place in the home of neighbouring street Fletcher Road and saw the smoke billowing over the rooftops backing onto Yarrow Road at noon yesterday.
"We both legged it round, because a young lady told us she thought a gentleman was inside the house next door," said Mr Brannan.
"Mark gave me a leg up onto the porch which was under the man's bedroom window, and I banged for about three minutes.
"At first, I couldn't seem to wake him up. We were so concerned about him but I didn't want to break the window in case it created a fireball. It was horrendous.
"The wait for the firefighters, although quick, was the worst. I am just glad no one got hurt."
Mark said: "It was scary, especially as we didn't know which house was on fire because of all the smoke, then when the flames appeared the roof just melted away in seconds."
Firefighters stopped the blaze from spreading to the neighbouring homes within minutes of arriving at the scene and along with Mr Edwards and Mr Brannan, crews have been commended by Peaks Lane station manager Andy James.
He said: "The men did exactly the right thing and should be commended. By knocking, they woke Mr Fox and he got out.
"The crews should also be commended. It is because of their hard work and effort that this fire didn't spread."
Mr Fox was eventually woken by Mr Brannan and, after smelling the thick smoke, ran outside and was met by his distraught mother, Jean, who had just returned home from shopping.
Jean said: "It is the one thing you dread happening to you. I know how deep he sleeps – he is dead to the world. We just kept banging on the doors and windows.
"If the men hadn't been there, it doesn't bear thinking about. At that moment, you don't think, you don't care about what's inside the house and I just wanted my son to be OK."
It took eight firefighters from four crews from Peaks Lane, Cromwell Road, Immingham and Waltham to put out the fire.
The owner of the house is a long distance lorry driver named locally as Jason Tomlinson, and believed to be in Belgium at the moment.
Residents described the fire as "devastating" and many were evacuated from their homes for the majority of the day.
Irene Wood said: "I saw the fire of the roof. It was very scary and all of us have been saying what a good job it is it didn't happen at night. Someone could have been seriously hurt."
Another, who did not want to be named, added: "I am just devastated for the owner of the house. It just went up so quickly."
Firefighters are now working with Humberside Police to establish a cause.