A big thank you to our lifesavers

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A MOTHER and son who narrowly escaped death after a blaze ripped through their home have paid a personal thank you to the firefighters who saved them.

Jane Chapman, aged 33, and her son Matthew, aged nine, woke to find their Sheffield house engulfed in flames.

The pair were trapped in an upstairs bedroom after petrol was poured through the letterbox of their Kiveton terrace and the door was set alight.

During a frantic 999 call, Jane pleaded with emergency services to send firefighters quickly as Matthew was struggling to breathe.

Neighbours’ attempts to rescue the schoolboy and his mum were unsuccessful as a thick wall of smoke held them back.

A control operator gave Jane advice on what to do while engines rushed to the scene, as Jane told her: ‘You’ve got to come quick’.

She was just minutes away from desperately persuading her young son to jump from the window when a crew from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue’s Aston Park fire station arrived and plucked the pair from the inferno.

Both Jane and Matthew were taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Neither had suffered any serious injury, but they have been forced to move home due to the scale of the damage the house suffered.

Once they were over their ordeal, the pair were keen to give special thanks to the crew who came to their rescue.

And bosses at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service arranged for the pair to visit the station, where Matthew tested out some of the kit used to tackle the blaze, trying on a firefighter’s helmet for size.

Jane said: “We owe them our lives. I really can’t thank them enough for everything they have done. I wanted to meet them so that me and Matthew could both say thank you in person.”

She added: “It was the first time I’ve ever experienced anything like that in my life, and it was really frightening.”

Watch manager Mark Jones said: “It’s very rare that we get to meet the people we rescue, so it was great for us all to welcome Jane and Matthew to the fire station, and to see them both looking fit and healthy.

“The last time we saw them in the minutes after the fire they were obviously very confused due to all the smoke they’d inhaled.

“Had we got to their house a few minutes later then I’m not sure they’d be standing here today. It’s a credit to the fire crews and the control operator that this incident ended so successfully.”

A 41-year-old Sheffield man has been arrested and bailed on suspicion of starting the fire.