Neighbours’ bravery honoured
PUBLISHED: 16:00 04 June 2015
Avon Fire & Rescue Service
The ‘selfless’ actions of four North Somerset residents who risked their lives to help neighbours trapped in house fires have been recognised by Avon Fire and Rescue Service.
Kevin Pearson, chief fire officer at the service, presented Chief Fire Officer’s Commendations following a series of incidents that occurred in Clevedon and Pill in just two months.
Chief Fire Officer Pearson said: “While we would never advise anyone to enter a smoke-filled house and put their own life in jeopardy, it is clear that the actions of these four people deserve some recognition. On hearing smoke alarms activating or calls for help they wasted no time in attempting to rescue those in need.”
The first of these incidents, which took place on Christmas Eve, saw John and Zoe Yeoman rescue their neighbour in Highdale Avenue, Clevedon, after he became trapped in his living room due to a microwave fire. Then, on February 3, John Gaffney, a resident of Newsome Avenue, Pill, entered a neighbour’s property after hearing the alarm going off while in the garden. Despite the house being thick with smoke, John pulled wheelchair-bound Peter Buck out of the house and helped him out of his clothes which were ablaze. Despite this swift action, Mr Buck died from his injuries.
The third incident also took place in Pill, where Graham Lacey came to the rescue of a mother and her two young children at a house in Bramley Close.
After hearing cries for help in the early hours of February 5, he climbed on to a first-floor pitched roof where he was passed a six-month-old baby to safety through a window, before doing the same with a three-year-old child and returning to help their mother.
Mr Pearson added: “I am immensely proud of these individuals and was honoured to recognise their bravery.”