TWO life-saving heroes who ran into a burning building to save the life of a 91-year-old man have been honoured for their bravery.
James Cregg, 25 of Arthur Street and Robert Morton, of Barnes Street, both Clayton-le-Moors were among 20 people honoured by the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service at this year’s Pride of Lancashire Awards.
The duo were commended for ‘outstanding bravery’ after they risked their lives to save Kazimierz Sienkiewicz, from his home in Barnes Street, Clayton.
He became stuck in his blazing back bedroom, when his leg went through the floorboards as he tried to put out the fire. The men found him thigh-deep through the floor trying to release himself using his arms, which were both engulfed in flames.
Passers-by Robert and James called the fire service before entering the burning building. They crawled up to his bedroom, freed him and then carried him to safety.
Mr Sienkiewicz’s family believe the fire started after he fell asleep with a cigarette.
Chief Fire Officer Peter Holland said: "We are very lucky in Lancashire to have an excellent calibre of people working for us and the Pride of Lancashire Awards is a fantastic event to reward and thank the many unsung heroes whose sterling work often goes unrecognised.
"There are lots of people in the county who do work that’s really valuable to the community but no-one ever gets to know about.
The Pride of Lancashire Awards are a really good chance for them to get deserved recognition for their efforts.
James and Robert were nominated for award by Hyndburn Fire Service, who attended the blaze and treated all three men at the scene.
However, controversy surrounded the fire. Another man who claimed to have single-handedly rescued Mr Sienkiewicz was nominated for a short time for a Public Hero of the Year award by the Fire Service’s National Benevolent Fund.
But his nomination was withdrawn after the Observer highlighted James and Robert’s nomination by Hyndburn Fire Service for the same incident.