‘We knew we had to go in’ say flat fire heroes

Lee Foster, Watch Commander Martin Bleasdale with Kevin Stainburn and Refuse Worker Ian Chamberlain.

Lee Foster, Watch Commander Martin Bleasdale with Kevin Stainburn and Refuse Worker Ian Chamberlain.

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Three heroes who helped rescue two unconscious men from a flat fire in Birstall have been commended for their bravery.

Kevin Stainburn, Ian Chamberlain and Lee Foster were first at the scene of the fire at a first floor flat on Carr Street last Tuesday.

The trio alerted neighbours and smashed through the flat door, despite being forced back by smoke Mr Stainburn was able to crawl and pull one of the men to safety.

Mr Stainburn, a father-of-two from Dewsbury said: “It really was instinct, we assumed that elderly people were trapped inside.

“When we got to the door with a chain on we knew we had to go in.

“One or two people were outside telling us not to but we just couldn’t do that.

“If I had a choice I definitely would do it all again.”

Dragging the man outside Mr Stainburn was helped by Mr Chamberlin from Batley, who covered him with their coats.

Meanwhile Mr Foster continued warning neighbours and flagged down an ambulance.

Crews from Cleckheaton and Dewsbury fire stations arrived soon after and rescued the second man.

Investigations by the fire service suggest the fire was started after a candle was knocked over.

Although a smoke detector was installed its batteries had been removed.

This week the trio were reunited with the fire crew at Cleckheaton Fire station.

Cleckheaton Fire Station Watch Commander Martin Bleasdale said: “Whilst we would always advise people not to enter a burning building, the instinctive, brave and clearly determined actions of Kevin, Ian and Lee, before the arrival of crews, are highly commendable.

“Such selfless actions undoubtedly assisted towards a successful conclusion to the incident.”