Fire chiefs praise rescuers of man in Highlands

FIRE chiefs have praised three passers-by who saved an elderly man from a blazing house in the Highlands.

Firefighters arrived shortly after the man was rescued. Picture: Sean Bell

The three members of the public had witnessed smoke coming from the property and risked their own safety by entering the logged building and recovering the occupant, just prior to the arrival of Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

The pensioner was treated by paramedics for smoke inhalation, as was one of his rescuers.

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Fire crews were called to attend the house fire in Drover’s Way, Milton, Easter Ross, at 7.13pm on Wednesday. Two appliances from Invergordon and one from Tain went to the scene.

Upon arrival they were faced with a well-established fire within the semi-detached flat.

Firefighters in breathing apparatus used two hosereel jets and two main jets to extinguish the fire, which is not being treated as deliberate.

Group Manager Anthony Gardner, who was at the scene, said: “When I arrived the house was well ablaze and the male occupant had been removed by three passers-by.

“Whilst the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service would never encourage anyone to enter a burning building, on this occasion they undoubtedly saved this man’s life and their quick thinking and brave actions should be commended.”

He added: “If you witnesses a fire call 999 immediately and ask for the fire service. Don’t enter the property and stay at a safe distance.

“With the best will in the world you can be overcome by smoke in a matter of minutes. The safest option is to wait for the fire service to arrive as they have the protective clothing, breathing apparatus and expertise required to enter smoke and fire filled buildings.”