A quick thinking water operative has been nominated for a bravery award by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service after racing into a burning building to help rescue a family trapped inside.
Darren Stanley, 31, from Staley Bridge works as a repair and maintenance operative for Network Plus on behalf of United Utilities. He was on his way to work with his colleague Chris when they spotted smoke coming from a residential property in the town.
After stopping to see if they could help, Darren noticed flames in the hallway of the property and he immediately sprang into action to check if there was anyone inside.
He explained: “We were first on the scene and I wasn’t sure if the alarm had been raised. I started to bang on the windows and doors but there was no answer, but then someone shouted ‘the window’ and I looked up and saw a child standing there.”
He managed to kick open the front door and without hesitation he ran up the stairs battling through thick smoke that made it difficult to see. He checked all the rooms – beds, cots and floors with his hands while shouting “Fire! Fire! Get out!”
After helping people out, he realised there was still someone in the property and continued to search through thick smoke until he found an elderly man in the bathroom. The Police arrived as Darren was getting him to safety and he continued to help search the ground floor.
Three children and four adults all got out of the property safely thanks to Darren’s bravery.
Darren spent the rest of the day in hospital after inhaling smoke but was back home by evening.
Daryll Smith, Customer Operations Manager at Network Plus said: “We are incredibly proud of Darren for his actions that day – he is the reason every member of that family made out of the property it safely.”
George Branch from United Utilities also praised Darren’s quick-thinking actions saying: “Darren went above and beyond that day, we couldn’t believe it when we heard he had rescued all those people, he was incredibly brave.”