TWO hero women who risked their lives rescuing their elderly neighbour from his smoke-filled home have been honoured for their bravery.
Marilyn Muir, aged 61, spotted flames in the home of her 80-year-old neighbour – and without a thought for her own safety ran to the flat in the block next door to help.
But when she was unable to persuade him to leave his smoke-filled property she called on fellow neighbour Margaret Andrew for help.
Between them the fearless duo entered the flat and managed to lead the pensioner outside to safety while firefighters raced to the scene on Little Norton Avenue, Norton, Sheffield.
Marilyn, a retired post office worker, said: “It is really nice to be recognised but I think the real heroes are the firefighters who attend incidents like this all year round.
“I would do the same thing again because I believe helping people is the right thing to do.”
She was drawing her blinds to block out bright sunlight when she saw an orange glow at her neighbour’s kitchen window.
“I spotted the flames and just grabbed a wet tea towel and my mobile phone to ring the fire brigade and rushed to the flat,” she said.
“I was calling for the man to come out but, because he didn’t know me as I hadn’t lived there long, he just kept saying he was alright but would not leave.
“There was still smoke so I ran up to another neighbour, who I knew had lived there years, and between us we got into the flat and managed to persuade the man to come out.
“In situations like that you don’t think about what could happen to you – you just do what you have to do to help.
“It’s just lucky that I was drawing my blinds at the time and saw the flames, because the fire brigade said it was my banging on his door that alerted the man.
“He unplugged his toaster, which is where the fire started, and threw it into some water, so when we got in the flames were out but it was still smoky and the alarm was sounding.”
Paramedics checked the pensioner and his neighbours at the scene, but all were unscathed and did not need further medical attention.
Firefighters who arrived at the flat found the blaze had spread to the work surface, generating thick plumes of smoke which damaged the room.
The women were praised at a special ceremony at Low Edges fore station, where they were each presented with a Certificate of Appreciation.
Phil Shillito, an area manager for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, said: “Marilyn and Margaret acted very quickly to come to the help of a neighbour who was clearly in danger.
“Although this wasn’t a huge blaze there was a large amount of smoke, so it was vital this gentleman was taken outside to safety as quickly as possible.”
Margaret said: “I’ve got a great deal of respect for the work all the emergency services do so it is fantastic to receive recognition.”
So far this year firefighters in South Yorkshire have dealt 580 accidental house fires.