A brave Lancaster man risked his own life to rescue a mum and her two young children from their burning house.
Heroic Keaton Shap, 21, kicked in the back door of the family’s house in Edenvale Crescent before leading first the youngsters and then their mum to safety.
Keaton had been walking past the property on his way home from a nearby shop when he spotted the flames through a window.
“I just noticed that the house was on fire,” he said. “I kicked in the door and the place was full of smoke.
“I could hear screaming coming from upstairs, I went up the stairs and found them all in a bedroom.
“I got the kids out and then went back for their mum.
“It was thick black smoke all around the house and I could see the fire coming from the kitchen.
“When I got home and had a shower later I was coughing up black stuff from the smoke.”
Keaton, who lives in nearby Fleet Green, said he had just popped out to top up his gas meter when the incident happened, at around 6.30pm on Wednesday January 10.
The mum was upstairs with her children when the fire broke out in the kitchen.
Firefighters said the family was completely unaware of the unfolding emergency downstairs, which is thought to have been started by a cooker hob being left on and setting light to a tea towel.
“You couldn’t see a thing on the staircase,” Keaton said. “It was completely black.
“I think the mum had just panicked when she opened the door and saw the smoke so she just shut them all in the bedroom.
“She said she couldn’t believe that I had saved them.
“Afterwards the fire chief came up to me and shook my hand and said well done and that not many people would have done what I did.
“I just did it without thinking, I had to save their lives.”John Taylor, spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We applaud the actions of this chap for stepping in when many people would think twice. It’s absolutely commendable.”Lancaster Fire watch manager Kevin Warwick said: “A man who was walking outside the property noticed a flame in the kitchen and gained entry.
“All the occupants were unaware of the fire as they were upstairs. The man shouted up to them and helped the woman get her children out.
“There was a lot of smoke in the property and the cooker area was well alight.
“Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the fire and used ventilation units to clear the house of smoke.
“All of the occupants were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation by paramedics and taken to hospital for checks.
“We would advise members of the community to think carefully about where their smoke alarms are placed.
“Anyone who would like us to check the placement of their smoke alarms should get in touch with us on 0800 169 1125.”