Hero firefighter commended for dramatic rescue effort

The scene of the fire at a three-storey house at Mesnes Park Terrace, Wigan
The scene of the fire at a three-storey house at Mesnes Park Terrace, Wigan

A teenager rescued from a burning building has met the firefighters who saved his life.

Josh Swarbrick, 18, became trapped when a fire broke out at a hostel on Mesnes Park Terrace, Swinley, in August.

Josh Swarbrick with Green Watch

Josh Swarbrick with Green Watch

He could not get out of the smoke-filled room in the third-floor flat and a woman had already jumped out of a window to escape.

But Wigan firefighters were able to get him out through a small bathroom window.

The teenager has now been reunited with the firefighters and they were commended for their efforts by the chief of Greater Manchester Fire And Rescue Service.

Josh said: “It was a very scary situation and I feel very grateful that the firefighters rescued me. They have saved my life.”

A certificate of outstanding performance was presented to firefighter Christan Dunn and other members of Wigan’s green watch last week.

Station manager Wayne Van Hecke said: “On approaching the address Firefighter Dunn and his crew received information from control operators to say a man could be seen trapped and heavy smoke and flames were emitting from several windows. On arrival Josh could be seen hanging out of the third-floor window to escape the smoke.

“Firefighter Dunn, wearing breathing apparatus, climbed the ladder, passing through heat and smoke and found Josh in the bathroom, struggling to breathe.

“With minutes to spare, and only a small window as an exit, he managed to manoeuvre him through a small gap and guide him down the ladder.”

Crew manager Simon Connor said: “I told the crew to have their breathing apparatus working before we arrived so they were ready to go. Christan was the first ready so I shouted ‘go get him son’.

“There were flames, smoke and heat coming out of the windows so Christan did a fantastic job.”

Mr Dunn, said: “I am really pleased that we have been rewarded. It was a difficult rescue - the building was very much still on fire and the window Josh was hanging out of was very small. It was one of the best jobs I have been involved with.”

Among the onlookers was former Wigan Warriors star Dan Sarginson who tweeted: “Fair play to the @Wiganfireteam. Just watched them save a man’s life in Wigan! Top floor of burning flat! Top job.”

Deputy County Fire Officer, Paul Argyle, said: “It was with great pleasure to be able to recognise the lifesaving actions of Christan Dunn and green watch with a certificate of outstanding performance.”