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A FATHER-of-three has been congratulated by the Chief Fire Officer of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) after he went to the rescue of a man who fell asleep during a fire at his home in Rochdale.
Chris Love, a part-time carer, heard smoke alarms going off at a neighbour's house in Kirkway, Kirkholt, in the early hours of Sunday, August 4, 2013.
Knowing that the man had been drinking the previous night and could have fallen asleep, Mr Love got up and went to the house to investigate.
He starting banging on the doors and windows to try and wake the man and when that failed he went round to the back of the house to try and get inside in order to rescue him.
Shortly after, at around 3.15am, crews from Rochdale and Heywood arrived on the scene and firefighters knocked the door down.
They extinguished a small fire in the kitchen and led the man safely out of the house.
On Wednesday evening, August 6, 2014, Mr Love and his family attended Rochdale Fire Station in Halifax Road where they met White Watch crew, Station Manager Andy Bracken and Fire Authority member and Councillor Steve Williams.
Chief Fire Officer Steve McGuirk presented Mr Love with a letter of congratulation and thanked him for his courage before all the guests enjoyed light refreshments and cakes.
Mr McGuirk said: "Had it not been for the brave actions of Mr Love that morning, the outcome of the incident could have been far worse.
"Not only did he do the right thing in investigating the sound of the smoke alarm, he was prepared to break into a potentially smoke-filled house to rescue one of his neighbours."
Mr Love, aged 32, was at Wednesday night's event with his wife Joanne Love and their three children - Joshua, aged 12, Luke, aged nine and Lily, aged three - as well as his mum Jacquie Gorwood, step dad Carl Gorwood and best mate Luke Stead.
Mr Love said: "I didn't really realise what I had done until other people starting telling me so it's really good to be recognised.
"It all happened really quickly - it was a bit of a blur. I just thought I was doing what came naturally to me.
"I have seen the man since and he always tells people that I saved his life which is nice.
"I didn't expect all this attention but it's great - my family are proud and the kids have really enjoyed coming to the fire station."
Mrs Love, aged 32, said: "I think it's brilliant what he did. I saw it all happening and it was a bit scary - I didn't know what he was doing."
Mrs Gorwood said: "It's brilliant want the fire service have done for Chris and we've all really enjoyed it.
"He was really chuffed that he'd helped someone."