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Firefighter praises hero builders for saving elderly Upminster man’s life

PUBLISHED: 10:08 04 September 2014 | UPDATED: 14:26 04 September 2014

Lee and Dean (L-R) dragged the man in his 90s from his burning home

Lee and Dean (L-R) dragged the man in his 90s from his burning home

Archant

A firefighter has praised two builders and a welder who dragged a man in his 90s from his burning home and almost extinguished the blaze before emergency services arrived.

Crews from Hornchurch and Wennington fire stations received a call at 8.40am on Wednesday to reports of a blaze in Ockendon Road.

But when they arrived the two men from an Upminster-based contractor who happened to be passing had dragged the man to safety and a local welder had used his fire extinguishers to dampen the blaze.

Hornchurch fire station’s watch manager Tom Anderson said: “I need to heap some praise on the local builders and the welder.”

But he said he would not recommend others taking their lives into their own hands as two of the heros were treated for smoke inhalation.

“They took a lot of smoke in and they are quite ill but they may have saved a man’s life today,” Mr Anderson added.

Dean Harrington and Lee Jennings, 32, of Rochford, Essex, were on the way to a job when they noticed smoke coming from the house and leaped over a fence to investigate.

Mr Harrington, 28, of Oakley Drive, said: “There was this geezer lying on the floor. He was breathing but unconscious and there was flames and smoke everywhere.”

But the pair, who work for water supply contractors McKays, fearlessly dragged the man to safety.

“You don’t think about it when you do it. I was thinking about nothing but ‘we need to get this geezer out’,” Mr Harrington said.

The cause of the fire is being investigated but is believed to have started in the kitchen and was able to spread because the man had no fire alarms.

The elderly man was taken to Queen’s Hospital, in Rom Valley Way, Romford, to receive medical treatment but is believed to be in a stable condition.

The London Fire Brigade are advising the elderly and vulnerable people to call 08000 28 44 28 to arrange a home fire safety visit.

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