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Wigan firefighters meet teenager they saved from a fire

A MAN rescued from a fire in Wigan last summer was overjoyed to meet the firefighters who saved his life.

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Josh Swarbrick, who is now 18-years-old, found himself trapped in a smoke-filled room in a third-floor flat when a fire broke out on Wednesday, August 31, 2016, in Mesnes Terrace.

The reunion took place at Wigan Community Fire Station in Robin Park Road last night (Wednesday, February 8, 2017) when firefighters involved in the rescue were commended by the chief of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS).

During the event a Certificate of Outstanding Performance was presented to Firefighter Christan Dunn and other Green Watch members following their actions during the incident.

Josh said: Quote: “It was a very scary situation and I feel very grateful that the firefighters rescued me. They have saved my life.”

Joining Wigan’s Green Watch and Josh at the celebration event were staff members from New Stage Housing and officers from GMFRS, including Wigan’s station manager, Wayne Van Hecke.

Recalling details from the incident, Station Manager Van Hecke, said: “On approaching the address Firefighter Dunn and his crew received information from control operators at North West Fire Control to say that a man - Josh Swarbrick - could be seen trapped inside the building and that heavy smoke and flames were emitting from several windows. 

“On arrival at Mesnes Terrace crew members were greeted with a well-developed fire and Joshua could be seen hanging out of the third floor window to escape the smoke. 

“Firefighters quickly put up a nine metre ladder up to the third floor in an effort to rescue Joshua. Firefighter Dunn, wearing breathing apparatus, climbed the ladder, passing through heat and smoke and on entering the building he found Josh in the bathroom, struggling to breathe.  

“With minutes to spare, and only a small window as an exit, Firefighter Dunn managed to manoeuvre Joshua through a small gap and guide him down the ladder. Josh then taken to hospital by ambulance.” 

Crew Manager Simon Connor said: “On our way to the incident I told the crew to have their breathing apparatus on with oxygen flowing before we arrived so that they were ready to go. Christan was the first firefighter ready to rescue the casualty so I shouted ‘go get him son’. 

“There were flames, smoke and heat coming out of the windows so Christan did a fantastic job to rescue the casualty and bring him to safety.” 

On receiving the commendation, Firefighter Christan Dunn, said: “I am really pleased that we have been awarded for saving Josh last year. It was a difficult rescue - the building was very much still on fire and the window Josh was hanging out of was very small. It was one of the best jobs I have been involved with.” 

While at the incident firefighters also learnt that a female resident had jumped to safety from a second floor window.  

Deputy County Fire Officer, Paul Argyle, said: “On behalf of the Peter O’Reilly, County Fire Officer, it was with great pleasure to be able to recognise the lifesaving actions of Wigan firefighter Christan Dunn and Green Watch with a Certificate of Outstanding Performance.”  

Last update: 09/02/2017 14:11:40
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