Fire heroes receive award

COURAGEOUS best friends who dashed into a burning building to save a young family-of-four have received bravery awards.

Dave Gooderham

COURAGEOUS best friends who dashed into a burning building to save a young family-of-four have received bravery awards.

Heroes Joshua Cramer and Daniel Ridgeon put their own lives at risk when they dived into a smoke-filled block of flats in Anselm Avenue, Bury St Edmunds.

The pair rescued two children - an 11-month-old and a two-year-old - and helped them and the children's parents to safety.

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Fire and police chiefs yesterday saluted the life-saving actions of the boys, both 15, and presented them with bravery awards.

Speaking after the ceremony, Joshua, a pupil at County Upper School in Bury, said: “I think we were just acting on adrenalin and didn't think about what could happen or what we could find.

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“We just heard screams and reacted. We couldn't get into the building at first but when we did we only thought about getting them out.”

Daniel, who goes to King Edward VI Upper School, joked: “It was only the next day when we thought about what had happened that we realised how stupid we had been.”

The pair were at Daniel's home nearby when they heard screams coming from the block of flats on August 7 last year. When they saw smoke coming from the building, the pair, who were buzzed into the flats by frightened residents, dashed upstairs to the top floor where they were met with thick black smoke.

They found an armchair alight on the landing and Daniel ran to get a fire extinguisher while Joshua tried to stamp out the flames. As Daniel fought back the flames, Joshua took the two children, Marcus and Jess, and their mother, Louise Ashton, down the stairs to safety - using t-shirts to cover the children's mouths and stop them breathing in more acrid fumes.

The fire was put out with the help of other residents before fire fighters arrived on the scene. The pair yesterday received bravery awards following a nomination by Suffolk's Chief Constable Simon Ash.

They received certificates from the Society for the Protection of Life from Fire and a cash sum from the Provincial Police Awards.

Mr Ash said: “It is always pleasing to award anyone who intervenes in what was a very dangerous situation and go beyond the call of duty. They put their own lives at risk to save a family-of-four in a burning building. Both thought of the safety of others before themselves, but quickly reacted to the situation so no-one suffered any serious injury as a result of the fire.”

Suffolk Fire and Rescue's western area commander John Wilcock said: “With little regard for their own safety, these two young boys displayed immense courage in entering a burning building and rescuing a young family. This demonstrated a community spirit and a willingness to respond and assist when a person is in need. It is fitting that they are receiving these awards.”

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