Brave burns victim opens new fire station in Sheffield

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A brave teenager who suffered horrific burns in a house fire in which his mum died has officially opened one of Sheffield’s two new fire stations.

Joe Bowers, aged 16, suffered severe burns in the house blaze in Rotherham in 2001.

His mum perished in the flames and Joe was later adopted.

He was only 18 months old at the time of the tragedy and spent months in hospital recovering from facial reconstruction and muscle transplant operations.

Joe, who won the Youth of Courage category at the Spirit of Fire Awards in London last year, was joined by Sheffield MP Clive Betts at the official opening of the new Parkway fire station, off the Sheffield Parkway, near the Mosborough turn off.

Pupils from Pipworth Community Primary School, Manor, also attended.

The £4 million facility, which started receiving 999 calls last July, was built as a replacement for Mansfield Road and Darnall fire stations, which were old and costly to run.

A second was also built in Birley.

Bosses believe the new station is better positioned for major industrial sites, new housing developments and road traffic collisions on the Sheffield Parkway.

Chief Fire Officer James Courtney, said: “The financial pressures the fire and rescue service faces are both well documented and unprecedented. But this fantastic new facility is the best possible physical reminder of the fact that despite the challenges we face we remain absolutely committed to supporting our future.

“The site was carefully chosen to improve our emergency response service to the city’s major industrial sites as well as new housing developments nearby and incidents on Sheffield Parkway. But this project has also been about providing our firefighters with a workplace which is befitting of their skills and the vital role they play in our communities.”