Stevenage dad rescues women from Old Town flat with flames just metres away

The blaze engulfed a shed in Stevenage Old Town.

The blaze engulfed a shed in Stevenage Old Town. - Credit: Archant

A Stevenage dad helped rescue two women from flats in Stevenage Old Town as flames from a nearby shed threatened to engulf their homes.

Police cordoned off parts of the Old Town after the blaze broke out on Friday night.

Police cordoned off parts of the Old Town after the blaze broke out on Friday night. - Credit: Archant

Carphone Warehouse employee Christopher Davis was walking near Middle Row on Friday evening when he saw smoke and flames coming from a shed next to the Own Homes estate agents.

The quick-thinking father to seven-year-old Jake realised that nearby residents and businesses could be in danger and rushed into the Subway sandwich shop next door to ask them to turn off their gas supply.

He then saw a light on in an upstairs window and, realising there might be people inside, sprinted up some stairs and began to knock at a sash window to see if anyone was inside.

Two women appeared at the window and Chris was able to force it open and help them out and down the stairs as the flames began to spread.

Christopher Davis with his seven-year-old son Jake

Christopher Davis with his seven-year-old son Jake - Credit: Archant


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The 27-year-old told the Comet: “The people in the flats wouldn’t have been able to get out because there were flames at the front door. I wasn’t going to stop until I knew everyone was safe.

“The flames were next to me and coming up from my left about a metre away.”

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Chris, from Symonds Green, was soon assisted at the scene by a police officer and fire crews who got into the other side of the property and were able to put out the blaze quickly.

Own Homes director Steve Harris said it was the speedy actions of the firefighters which prevented the business – which employs nine staff at the High Street branch – from being destroyed.

The fire started in Middle Row in Stevenage Old Town. Picture: Olly White

The fire started in Middle Row in Stevenage Old Town. Picture: Olly White - Credit: Archant

He told the Comet: “We were extremely lucky. It’s a minor miracle that our premises were unscathed.”

A spokesman for the fire service said on Monday the blaze is being treated as “accidental”.

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