Artist Jack swaps brushes for blazes as he becomes firefighter for a day

JUDGING by the hundreds of colourful pictures he has created, it would be natural to predict that Jack Henderson is gearing towards a future in the art world.

But the young artist, who has drawn more than 350 pictures to raise money for the Sick Kids hospital, has revealed that he wants to save lives as well as raise cash for charity.

Six-year-old Jack, the mastermind behind the Jack Draws Anything website, has dreams of becoming a firefighter - and for one day he got the chance.

Lothian & Borders Fire and Rescue invited the generous youngster and his brothers, Noah, two, and Toby, three, to be a firefighter for a day to celebrate his fundraising efforts.

The firefighters, who were particularly impressed with a drawing that Jack did for them of a fire and fire engine on Arthur's Seat, invited the wannabe fire officer to try on a fire suit, have a blast with a hose and explore a fire engine.

The day was particularly special for Jack, from Prestonpans, as his uncle is a firefighter and his grandad was a firefighter before he retired. Ed Henderson, Jack's father, said that his son would swing between wanting to be a firefighter and an artist.

He said: "Jack loves firefighters, and a few weeks back he did a picture for Lothian and Borders and we put it online that showed Arthur's Seat on fire. We just got an e-mail asking if Jack and his brothers wanted to be firefighters for the day and we were delighted.

"We went to headquarters and looked around the museum, went in a fire engine, touched all the stuff you are not meant to touch, tried on the uniform and had a shot with a hose. He even saw the fire engine go out on a job.

"Jack's grandad was a firefighter for 29 years and his uncle is still a firefighter, which is where he picked it up from, that and things like Fireman Sam. He is torn between being a firefighter and an artist and seems to swing one way or the other every day."

Jack added: "I had a really good time. Thank you to everyone for being really, really nice."

A spokeswoman for Lothian & Borders Fire and Rescue said: "Jack wants to become a firefighter when he grows up, it seems to be a family tradition. We were delighted to have him visit us. He met assistant chief fire officer Alex Clark, had a tour of the Museum of Fire and went down to our Tollcross station. He also soaked his grandad with a hose.

"We congratulate Jack on his excellent fundraising and wish him the best for the future."

Jack was also celebrating yesterday after he was nominated in the Child of the Year category at the Bighearted Scotland Awards. The ceremony is on October 14 in Glasgow.

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