AN OFF-DUTY firefighter has received a commendation for saving a woman from a burning house — 40 years after his father got a similar award.
Father-of-two Gordon Mitchell, who has worked for the fire service in Blackburn for 18 years, shrugged off the label of being a hero, saying the rescue was “just good teamwork”.
Gordon, who lives in Columbia Way with his wife Lisa and children Maia, six, and Cameron, two, was at home watching a football match last June when a neighbour banged on his window to tell him a house down the street was ablaze.
The 40-year-old said: “I was just settling down and there was a knock at the window.
“I went to the door and one of the neighbours said the house was on fire.
“You could see the smoke issuing out of the kitchen door and fire in the kitchen units above the cooker had taken hold.
“We are always told if you are not sure if there are persons inside to treat the fire as if there are.”
Gordon made his way upstairs and found the woman semi-conscious.
He managed to get her downstairs and to the front door, but could not get out because the door was locked and the keys were not to hand, so he got them out through the kitchen door.
He then took the garden hose and fought the fire until his colleagues got there.
The woman, who was 48 at the time, suffered from the effects of smoke inhalation but was not seriously hurt. Gordon received a commendation for his bravery at a ceremony on Wednesday evening at Blackburn Fire Station.
His father Dougie, now 73, was a police constable in Blackburn in 1972 and also tackled a fire in a neighbour’s kitchen in Whinney Lane, Blackburn, when off duty.
Gordon said: “Obviously I am very proud but I am embarrassed too.
“To get a commendation is fantastic but I feel like it was a good team effort. I think my dad was a hero.
“All dads are heroes but I don’t see myself like that.
“It is nice, though, to think my kids will be able to look at what I did and have the pride that I did for my dad.”