A 78-YEAR-OLD man has received a bravery medal after being nominated by firefighters for saving two people from a blazing lorry when he was on the way to Blackburn.

Two years ago David Tiley, a delivery driver, had pulled over on the hard shoulder of the M6 motorway near Chorley after concerns his vehicle had broken down.

A lorry then crashed into the rear of his vehicle after the driver and passenger had fallen asleep, which resulted in a fire starting.

Mr Tiley rushed over to the lorry to rescue the two from the lorry and his actions led to Lancashire Fire and Rescue nominating him for the Society for the Protection of Life from Fire (SPLF) bravery medal.

He was awarded the medal at a ceremony last week by Ian Chippendale, the chairman of the SPLF.

Mr Tiley, now retired, said: "I heard a loud bang and the lorry had crashed into the back of me, a third of it was across the slow lane.

"It started to catch fire and once I heard the third explosion I just had to act.

"I didn't think about what I was doing

"It's just what happened, I thought just do it."

Staff at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service praised his actions as 'courageous' and labelled the grandfather-of-two a 'true hero'.

Area manager Jon Charters, who attended the award ceremony, said: “Despite being injured himself in the road traffic collision, Mr Tiley acted with courage and selflessness when reacting to the rapidly escalating threat of fire.

"He managed to free one person who was trapped and assist another person in the burning lorry.

"I have no doubt that Mr Tiley’s quick and courageous response saved these two men from serious injury and quite possibly death.

"He is a true hero and I am delighted that he has been recognised by the SPLF this week for his actions.”

A spokesman for the SPLF said: "The tremendously brave rescuer, through totally selfless actions and without regard to his own safety, saved lives in a serious fire following a motorway accident."

In 2017 the SPLF received its 27,000th nomination of persons who exhibit bravery in fire rescues, in its 182nd year of existence.

In each case the person or persons who have carried out rescue attempts have had their actions recommended to the SPLF.

The society’s trustees meet to discuss the nominations and make appropriate awards in recognition of the gallant rescue actions.