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Heroes save mum and daughter from Great Harwood fire
12:25pm Wednesday 12th December 2012 in Pendle
TWO have-a-go heroes have been praised for coming to the rescue of a mum and her teenage daughter after a vacuum cleaner caught fire at their Great Harwood home.
Marie Knighton, 41, and 13-year-old daughter Elizabeth, who attends St Augustine’s RC High School in Billington, have praised the actions of their neighbours, and said they owe their lives to them.
The pair were asleep at their Masefield Close house when they were awoken by the smoke alarm at around 10.30pm.
Thick black smoke was billowing upstairs, trapping them inside the house, when the vacuum cleaner at the bottom of the stairs caught fire.
She and her daughter fled to the spare bedroom where they screamed for help from the window.
Neighbour David Emmett, 19, heard their cries for help from his bedroom and ran to their rescue.
Grabbing a ladder from the kitchen, he went to help. His neighbour Sean Hartley also came to the women’s aid.
Marie, a carer at the Hollies Nursing Home, said: “David and Sean are our heroes. You can’t put into words how grateful we are. All I can say is thank you. They were very brave. They saved our lives. We had crawled into the back bedroom where the window opens fully. We were just shouting ‘help, help’.
“We thought we were going to die. Elizabeth was on the phone to the emergency services while the smoke was pouring into the room.
“We felt enormous relief when we saw them coming to help.”
The family’s dog Midge, a 13-year-old dachshund, was trapped inside the house and rescued by firefighters.
David said: “Me and Sean ran over the gardens with the ladder and I climbed up to rescue them.
“When they were both safe on the ground, they kept thanking me and hugging me.
“It was my automatic reaction. Anyone would have done the same.”
Lee Cook, crew manager from Hyndburn fire station, said: “The men have saved the occupant’s lives by their actions. It’s a very courageous thing they have done.”
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