Three Tameside binmen have been commended for their “swift and brave actions” after saving a man from a burning building whilst doing their rounds last week.
The trio – Lee Hewitt, Anthony Hibbert and Stephen Rhodes – were at work as normal on a street in Ashton-under-Lyne last week when they suddenly noticed smoke billowing from a nearby house and went to take a closer look.
The back door to the property had been left ajar, and when the crew stepped inside they found a man on the floor struggling to breathe.
They quickly carried the injured person to safety and alerted neighbours to evacuate.
Three fire engines arrived on the scene and found a sofa burning on the ground floor of the property.
After more than two-and-a-half hours on the scene, the flames were successfully extinguished.
The injured man was treated by North West Ambulance Service.
Tameside Council Director of Operations and neighbourhoods Ian Saxon said the bin crew’s “selfless dedication” was a reflection of how frontline staff were “an integral part of the community.”
“They make me feel very proud of our colleagues,” he added.
Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service Group Manager for Stockport and Tameside Phil Nelson said there could have been “deadly consequences” had it not been for the quick-thinking bin crew.
“Not only did they help the resident from the property but by alerting us to the fire we were able to respond quickly and extinguish the fire before more damage was done,” he stated.
“If you do come across a fire at home, remember to get out, stay out and call 999 – don’t try to tackle the fire yourself.
“This incident is a reminder that we all need to be careful at home and consider what we can do to keep ourselves safe from fire, such as installing smoke alarms throughout our properties.”
You can find more information on fire safety at home on the Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue website.