Fire crews praise blaze rescue hero

A HAVE-A-GO hero has been commended for saving a man from a burning South Kirkby flat.

Arran Tolley, 20, of Carr Lane, South Kirkby, was passing the first floor flat on Wentworth Drive, when he noticed smoke and flames.

He called 999 before rescuing a 34-year-old man who was trapped inside the flat.

Mr Tolley said: “There was a bloke who seemed to be in shock and was leaning out of the window. I could see the fire and there was a lot of smoke.

“I heard a loud bang when I was calling the fire brigade which must have been one of the windows smashing.

“I pulled a wheelie bin up and stood on it. He lowered himself from the window and I reached up to grab his feet and help him down. It was an instant reaction.

“I was just passing by on my way to the shops. I was in the right place at the right time.”

Firefighters from South Elmsall, Hemsworth and Pontefract battled the blaze which took place at about 6.30pm on Monday, October 19.

Eight people were evacuated from six surrounding flats.

Police have confirmed the occupant of the flat – who was treated for smoke inhalation at Pontefract General Hospital before being discharged – has been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life. He has been released on bail pending further inquiries.

Tim Jones, South Elmsall Fire Station manager, commended Mr Tolley for his quick actions.

He said: “Flames were up to the roof. His quick-thinking and actions were crucial in saving the person involved.

“Due to the severity of the fire, the person involved would not have survived many more seconds in that environment.

“We will be putting Arran Tolley forward for an award next year. I’m very pleased that the crews got there very quickly minimising the danger to lives.”

To report a deliberate fire, call the arson task force on 01924 334060 or to request a free home fire safety check call 08005 874536.