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Asda van driver rescues pensioner in bungalow fire
A SUPERMARKET driver rescued an elderly Knutsford resident from a burning building, after spotting flames while making a delivery.
Chris Barnwell has been nominated for Asda’s Colleague of the Year award, after risking his own safety to help a woman who was trapped by thick black smoke.
The 25-year-old arrived before the fire service at the pensioner’s bungalow in Northfields.
He said: “As I pulled up in my van, I saw flames in the window and as I went around to the front of the property, I saw black smoke. A neighbour came racing towards me and I said: ‘If you need any help, give me a shout’.”
There was a panic when the neighbour discovered that the woman was trapped in her home, so Chris put his jacket over his head and went into the bungalow.
He added: “The smoke was really intense and really black.
“I think she was just mostly in shock and needed someone to help her, so I put my arm around her and grabbed her hand.”
Chris led her out and would not leave her side until the paramedics arrived.
The Runcorn resident said: “I just sat her down on the bench outside and gave her a glass of water and stayed with her until emergency services came.”
She was treated at the scene for slight smoke inhalation, while fire crews from Knutsford and Northwich extinguished the blaze.
The fire had been caused by a candle that had ignited dried flowers.
A safety assessment was conducted and smoke alarms were fitted in the property.
Chris has been hailed a hero by bosses at Asda and, if he wins the Colleague of the Year award at the end of the month, he will be sent on an all-expenses trip to Arkansas in the United States.