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Charity shop worker helps kick down door to save family from Telford flat fire

By Tom Oakley | Wellington | News | Published:

“As soon as you realised what was going on, the adrenaline kicked in and I went into autopilot mode. I didn’t even think of my safety.”

Blackened walls show damage caused after the fire. Inset: Kieran Devereux

These are the words of a charity worker, speaking about the moment he called 999 and helped rescue a family after flames engulfed a high street flat.

Kieran Devereux was working at the Severn Hospice charity shop in Wellington High Street when he spotted smoke pouring from the first floor flat above the Clarks shoe shop in nearby New Street.

Firefighters rescued a man from inside the flat itself, but the 20-year-old assistant manager, from Telford, raised the alarm and helped a couple, child, and dog free from the flat above – not your standard first week back at work after returning from a year out.

Police have now revealed a man in his 30s was arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life following the blaze. He has since been released under investigation after Thursday’s incident.

Kieran said: “I called the fire service at 8.56am. I was working outside and noticed an open window with quite a lot of black smoke coming out of it.

“People were glancing up and doing nothing, me and another man, who I didn’t know, realised there was a fire, so I called the fire brigade.

“We knew that there were probably people in there so ran round to the locked gate but luckily someone was coming out. We ran up the stairs, he went to a different apartment and I went to the top and got a man, woman, child and dog out.

“Me and the other gentleman then started kicking at the door which led to the hallway of the flat which was on fire. But by the time we kicked it down the fire service arrived and we let them do their job.”

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The man who was rescued is not thought to be seriously hurt.

Crews used an alley at the rear of the premises to get inside to reach the man.

The window has since been partially boarded up.

He added: “It was a scary experience. Luckily there wasn’t any fatalities which is great to hear.

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“When the doors were starting to get kicked down everyone got out of the way pretty quickly.”When everything was sorted I just went back to work. It’s not you’re standard day at work.

“I am really proud of myself. I never thought I would run towards a fire. I’ve had a lot of people calling me a hero.”

“The family popped into work a few hours later with some beer and chocolate, which was nice. A lady from the council came in which was nice.”

Kieran has had connections with the hospice since he was 15, when he started as a volunteer.

For more information on the hospice go to www.severnhospice.org.uk

Tom Oakley

By Tom Oakley
Trainee Multi-Media Journalist

Shropshire Star reporter responsible for the covering Telford and Bridgnorth and the surrounding areas. Got a story? Email tom.oakley@shropshirestar.co.uk or call 01952 241457.

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