Blaze rescue hero to share bravery honour

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A DONCASTER man who carried out a courageous rescue from a house fire headed the list of winners at the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue annual awards ceremony.

Bentley man Kenneth Jollens and Tony Whitehouse, from Dinnington, were joint winners of the Public Act of Bravery Award, and were also awarded Chief Fire Officer’s Commendations, the highest level of recognition given by the fire service.

Kenneth, of Askern Road, pulled a man to safety from a fire at his home on Rosedale Road, Bentley, in August, while Tony rescued an elderly couple from a kitchen blaze at their Thurcroft flat in April.

Speaking to the awards host, BBC presenter Seth Bennett, Kenneth, who suffered burns to his hands as a result of the rescue, said: “I suppose if I had thought too much about my actions I may not have gone in there.

“I just acted on instinct. But it is fantastic to be recognised.”

Chief Fire Officer Jamie Courtney said: “Such potentially dangerous rescues are usually dealt with by professional fire crews, but had it not been for Tony and Kenneth’s swift and decisive actions in the very early stages of these fires, the incidents could have been a great deal more serious.”

Doncaster station’s White Watch, led by Daz Johnson, picked up the Crew of the Year East award.

They were shortlisted because their work is to a high standard and proactive, ensuring the most vulnerable members of society they meet are dealt with effectively, and several managers commented on their excellent performance. They were ‘a very good all-round watch’ with a very positive Watch Manager.