Woman ‘30 seconds from death’ before heroes carried her out from burning Sheffield flats

A hero who carried a woman to safety from a burning block of flats in Sheffield has spoken about the dramatic rescue.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 12:05 pm

Sam Merrill was one of two men who hauled the stricken woman from the property on Morland Road in Gleadless Valley after a fire broke out yesterday evening.

The 32-year-old glazer, from Arbourthorne, told how the smoke was so thick they could barely see a thing when they entered the building and found the woman lying on the first-floor landing.

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Sam Merrill was one of two men who rescued a woman from a flat fire on Morland Road in Sheffield

He described how he was leaving Titans Boxing gym when he saw more than a dozen people standing outside the flats, with smoke pouring from the windows, and he could hear the woman moaning from inside.

“I ran inside the building with another guy and we found her on the landing so we grabbed her by the arms and carried her outside,” he said.

"Her body was completely limp and if it had been another 30 seconds I reckon she would have been dead.

"It was absolutely jet black inside with all the smoke and we could only just make her out at the top of the stairs. By the time we got her outside all the windows were going through and it was a really big blaze.

"When we got her out, her face and mouth were covered in soot and she was gasping for breath.

"I just acted on instinct and if I was in that situation again I’d do the same. I'm just glad she’s alright.

"Her sister phoned me this morning to thank me for everything I did and to tell me that she’s OK.”

A spokeswoman for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said it was called to the fire at a first floor flat yesterday, Thursday, April 15, at 6.57pm.

She said other flats in the block were also evacuated and there were two casaualties, one male and one female, who were already outside when firefighters arrived.

Four fire crews from Elm Lane, Rivelin, Aston and Parkway attended the blaze before leaving the scene at around 9.15pm.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.