Heroes rescue woman from St Albans house inferno
PUBLISHED: 15:32 10 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:30 06 May 2010
TWO brave friends saved the life of an elderly woman when they pulled her out of a fierce fire which was rapidly engulfing her home at the weekend. The blaze broke out at the property in Folly Lane, St Albans, around midday on Sunday and quickly tore thr
TWO brave friends saved the life of an elderly woman when they pulled her out of a fierce fire which was rapidly engulfing her home at the weekend.
The blaze broke out at the property in Folly Lane, St Albans, around midday on Sunday and quickly tore through the kitchen and hallway, filling the entire house with smoke.
Elderly resident Peter Baker and his dog managed to escape through the front door but his wife Iris was left trapped inside, feet away from the flames and unable to move
But her life was saved when her 23-year-old next-door neighbour Adam Rushbrook and his best-friend Joe Brame dragged her to safety.
Watch commander Paul Farrow from St Albans fire station praised Adam and Joe's heroic actions. He said: "Undoubtedly these two lads saved her life. They just ran in wearing jeans and t-shirts, risking serious injury. If they hadn't been there the lady would have died."
Adam's mum, Angela Rushbrook, said: "I just think they were both absolutely amazing. They didn't hesitate - as soon as I said Iris was in there they just run straight in. They didn't even put any shoes on."
Adam and Joe, who have been friends since meeting at Verulam Boys' School, had just returned from the city centre when Mrs Rushbrook noticed the blaze.
She said: "There was this heat haze and then I heard crackling. I run up the side of the house and a flame shot out at me. The flames were already up to the ceiling and the whole kitchen was engulfed in flames. I shouted at Adam to call the fire brigade."
Unsure whether Mr and Mrs Baker were inside, Mrs Rushbrook frantically started banging on the locked front door. Mr Baker opened the door and was led to safety along with his dog but it soon became clear that his wife was trapped after she started calling for help.
Adam, a sports journalist, said: "I was still on the phone to the fire brigade and they told me not to let anyone into the house but we started hearing Iris screaming for help. Joe went running in and after about 10 to 15 seconds had passed I thought I'd better go after him as the flames were getting so big."
Joe, 22, who lives in Hatfield but works in Marshalswick, found Mrs Baker sitting in the hallway just 10 feet away from the fire and he had already pulled her to the doorway when Adam dashed in to help.
He said: "We heard her calling and I had to go in and get her out as quick as possible because the fire was spreading so quickly."
He continued: "It all happened so quickly, it's a bit of a blur really."
Mrs Baker sustained burns and was taken to hospital for treatment along with her husband but both were discharged on Monday.
Adam and Joe, whose hair was singed, were checked-over by paramedics on the scene but were unharmed and spent the remainder of the afternoon watching football.
Firefighters entered the property wearing breathing equipment and put out the fire before leaving the scene at around 1.30pm.
Watch commander Farrow said an unattended oven was probably to blame for the fire, which has gutted the house and left it uninhabitable.