South Yorkshire fire hero receives award for bravery

Honour: Tony Whitehouse receives his award from Assistant Chief Fire Officer Neil Hessell, left, and Fire Authority vice-chair Alan Atkin.

Honour: Tony Whitehouse receives his award from Assistant Chief Fire Officer Neil Hessell, left, and Fire Authority vice-chair Alan Atkin.

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A HERO who saved a couple from their burning home has received a bravery award for his efforts.

Tony Whitehouse, aged 33, from Dinnington, forced his way into the flat on Aymer Drive, Thurcroft, after spotting smoke billowing from the kitchen window in April.

He searched the flat and led a woman in her 70s outside to safety before returning to help her husband, also in his 70s, to get out.

The fire hero then used a garden hose to extinguish the blaze while his brother Stefan gave first aid to the elderly man.

Tony was presented with a Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation - the highest fire service award a member of the public can win for displaying life saving bravery in South Yorkshire - during a ceremony in front of family and friends at Maltby fire station.

He was then given a tour of the fire station. His brother Stefan was also recognised for his actions on the day, with a Certificate of Appreciation.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Neil Hessell, said: “This was a life-saving rescue thatTony carried out on instinct and with little thought for his own safety.

“Such potentially dangerous rescues are usually dealt with by professional fire crews but had it not been for Tony’s swift and decisive actions, then this incident would have been a great deal more serious.

“Our normal advice to people in the event of a fire is to get out, stay out and call 999.

“However, we recognise that in exceptional circumstances such as this one, public acts of bravery are appropriate and should be recognised as such.”

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