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Teenage fire hero praised by dad

PUBLISHED: 05:58 26 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:20 24 February 2010

A FATHER has praised his teenage son's life-saving actions after he awoke to find his bed on fire.

Heroic Shane Minter, 14, refused to panic when he awoke in the early hours of yesterday to find his bed had caught fire.

A FATHER has praised his teenage son's life-saving actions after he awoke to find his bed on fire.

Heroic Shane Minter, 14, refused to panic when he awoke in the early hours of yesterday to find his bed had caught fire.

Although overcome with fear the teenager stayed calm enough to alert his father, Ian Butler, who was sleeping in another bedroom.

Mr Butler, 36, threw a bucket of water over the burning bed, before heavy smoke forced the pair to flee their flat in Crayford Road, Sudbury, in their underwear.

Mr Butler He said: "I think the way Shane handled the situation was fantastic. He must have been terrified when he woke up to find his bed on fire, but he did not panic and did the sensible thing by coming and waking me up.

"If he had not dealt with things so calmly we might not be here now, what he did saved our lives.

"I am very proud of him, as far as I am concerned he is a real hero."

Two Sudbury fire crews attended the fire at around 5am yesterday.

Leading firefighter Jim Hillman said: "It was quite a severe fire in the bedroom but we managed to contain it before it destroyed the whole flat, which has been badly smoke damaged.

"We have now confirmed the fire started when a night light caught bed clothes, but the important thing is nobody was hurt."

The father and son are now counting the cost of the fire, which destroyed thousands of pounds worth of electrical equipment, furniture and clothes.

Mr Butler is not covered by insurance and said he has now lost nearly everything he owned.

He said: "The firefighters were fantastic, they got here quick and prevented the whole flat from burning down, but I have lost virtually everything. "Everything in Shane's bedroom including his television, computer console , stereo and games were destroyed. Nearly all my clothes and furniture have been badly smoke damaged, and I not sure how much of it I can save.

"I am absolutely gutted, heart-broken, but we are also very lucky to still be alive, so I have to put things into perspective."

Shane was still too upset to speak about his ordeal but admitted: "it was really frightening."

The pair will be moved into temporary accommodation, while the damaged flat is assessed and repaired.


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