Neighbour saves sleeping man’s life in flat fire rescue

PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 October 2015

Fire at block of flats, Briary Road Portishead. David Evans and Paul Cherry.

Fire at block of flats, Briary Road Portishead. David Evans and Paul Cherry.


A Portishead man says he is lucky to be alive after being dragged to safety from his burning flat by a brave neighbour at the weekend.

Fire at block of flats, Briary Road Portishead. David Evans and Paul Cherry.Fire at block of flats, Briary Road Portishead. David Evans and Paul Cherry.

Paul Cherry kicked down Peter Green’s door and had to battle smoke and flames to rescue the 52-year-old on Saturday evening.

The fire is thought to have started after an incense stick fell on to paper next to the flat’s front door causing it to go up in flames, and Peter says he is ‘very grateful’ for the brave actions of his neighbour.

He said: “I haven’t got a television so I was listening to the radio waiting for the rugby to start.

“I lay down on the bed for an hour and lit some candles, which is something I have done hundreds of times and nothing has happened.

“Next thing I know my neighbour is kicking my door in and smoke was everywhere.

“I am very grateful to Paul. If it wasn’t for him then I’d be dead.”

Firefighters, police and paramedics were called to the blaze at about 6pm and Peter was taken to hospital after inhaling a large amount of smoke. However, he has suffered no long-term problems following the incident.

Paul Cherry, aged 37, was returning to the block of flats in Briary Road from a nearby fish and chip shop when he noticed the blaze and says the adrenaline is what made him burst his way into the burning property.

He told the Times: “I was coming back from the chip shop and saw smoke billowing out of the window.

“Then the adrenaline just takes over. I ran up the stairs, banged on the door and eventually had to kick it down.

“As he was coming out of the bedroom I reached in, pulled him out and managed to get everyone out of the block.

“The smoke detectors were going but he (Peter) was out of it.”

The six flats cannot be used at the moment following extensive damage to them.

Peter is now staying with family in Clevedon but is hoping to move back in to the flat soon, although it is not expected to be ready for up to four months.

David Evans, Peter’s landlord, also paid tribute to Paul’s actions, saying: “The incense sticks were lit to make the place smell nice but has resulted in thousands of pounds worth of damage, a man in hospital and it could have been a fatality.

“The fire investigator and police all said if it wasn’t for his neighbour, Peter could have died.”

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