Sudbury: Grandmother reunited with fire hero, 20

A GRANDMOTHER has been reunited with the young man who saved her life after arsonists targeted her caravan.

Russ Jarvis, 20, was walking home after a night out with friends in Sudbury when he suddenly noticed a smell of burning and smoke billowing in the air just after 5am on Sunday morning in Tudor Road.

He sprung into action and alerted 72-year-old homeowner Jean Cooper, who managed to escape the drama along with her dog Jasper.

Mr Jarvis, of Sycamore Road, said: “I had been on a night out at Easterns and after a few drinks at a friend’s house I decided to head home at about 5am. Just as I was walking along Tudor Road I smelt fire and noticed smoke in the air but couldn’t tell where it was coming from.”

Moments later he spotted smoke pouring from a caravan next to the home of Mrs Cooper.

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“I started banging on the front door, windows and back door and then shouted through the letter box to warn her,” he said. “She eventually came down and I got her out of the house but by then the caravan was ablaze and it was already spreading to her house.”

Mr Jarvis, a qualified welder, ran into the house to rescue Mrs Cooper’s dog before grabbing a hose pipe in an attempt to battle the flames.

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“There was a lot of smoke in the house and it was very difficult to breath so I’m just relieved I got the dog out but it soon became clear the hose was not going to do the job. I also banged on next door’s house to warn them but unfortunately injured myself when the glass broke,” he added.

After ringing emergency services from his mobile, fire crews from Sudbury arrived and brought the blaze under control but could not save Mrs Cooper’s caravan, which was destroyed. The flames shattered windows on the house and caused smoke damage inside.

Mrs Cooper said: “I can’t thank Russ enough for what he did. It doesn’t bear thinking what might have happened if he hadn’t been there and acted so quickly. It was a very brave thing to do.”

Paramedics treated both for smoke inhalation at the scene but Mr Jarvis said he was still suffering from a tight chest following the rescue.

“I just hope they catch the idiots who are setting fire to people’s properties in the town,” he added.

Police are appealing for information on the fire and a string of other arson attacks that took place at the weekend.

Anyone with information should call 01284 774100.

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