Search

Retired Barking firefighter searching for child he rescued on the Gascoigne Estate in the eighties

PUBLISHED: 17:01 08 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:01 08 August 2018

Robert Newby, a former Barking firefighter who's sinced retired to Exeter and become a councillor. Picture: Exeter City Council

Robert Newby, a former Barking firefighter who's sinced retired to Exeter and become a councillor. Picture: Exeter City Council

Archant

A retired fireman is on the search for a child he rescued in Barking in the eighties.

The original article in The Post, which reported on Robert saving a three-year-old from a flat fire. Picture: Robert NewbyThe original article in The Post, which reported on Robert saving a three-year-old from a flat fire. Picture: Robert Newby

Robert Newby, from Bethnal Green, saved three-year-old Laurence Lotter from a flat fire on the Gascoigne Estate.

After finding an old clipping of the incident in The Post, the 64-year-old is on a mission to track him down.

“I was just going through a scrapbook I’d had put together and I wondered what happened to that man,” he said.

“He’s had a second chance at life – he would have died. I wanted to know if he’s got children, or gotten married.”

Robert was working in Barking fire crew’s red watch when the call came in about a flat alight in Tasker House.

When the four firefighters arrived, they found a flat with smoke pouring through the first floor window.

“It was one those calls you can never forget,” he said.

“Smoke was punching through the first floor window. I said, why don’t we push through the window with a ladder and we can get anything we need through there. We pushed it through and the window smashed.

“I took the hose up and I could hear what I thought was whining. The smoke was really thick, and back then, we weren’t wearing flame retardents. “Low and behold, there was a littl’un on the floor by the window.”

Robert tried to grab the boy, but couldn’t take hold as his nappy was caught on a toybox. When crews made it into the room, they helped release him, and Robert passed the child down to station officer Duggan, who was waiting with paramedics.

They gave him CPR and managed to get him breathing again. He was the only person found in the flat.

“A lot of the time when you do a job, you do it and you forget about it,” Robert said.

“It’s just the fact that I’m retired, so I was sat there reminiscing.

“I have a permanent reminder on my right hand – when I punched through the window, the shard of glass went straight in between two of my fingers. “I still carry the scar, and every time I look at it, I think of him and think it was worth it.”

Could you help Robert? Contact @BDPost or rhiannon.long@archant.co.uk with information.

Latest Barking and Dagenham Stories

Yesterday, 16:00

Coasters could have been several goals up before Daggers drew level

Yesterday, 16:00

A rogue landlord has been fined more than £30,000 after converting a family home in Barking into flats.

Yesterday, 14:09

Detectives investigating the fatal stabbing of 22-year-old Ayodeji Habeeb Azeez have arrested a fifth person.

Yesterday, 14:00

Harry Redknapp is currently taking part in the latest series of I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!

Yesterday, 13:00

Barking assistant manager Andre Thomas was pleased to get back to winning ways as his side sealed a 2-1 win against Soham Town Rangers.

Yesterday, 12:00

May & Baker captain Richard Oxby says the whole team was pleased to seal their progress into the quarter-finals of the First Division Knockout Cup with a comfortable 6-1 victory against Lopes Tavares.

Yesterday, 11:59

Students and staff at Barking’s Technical Skills Academy raised nearly £1,000 for Children in Need.

Yesterday, 10:00

Gale Street side won 27-12 away from home on Saturday

PROMOTED CONTENT

Are you aged over 25 and an unpaid carer? If you want to return to employment but need practical help and support to get there, Working for Carers can help.

Everest Estates stress-free service guarantees a fixed income for your East London or Essex property every month, even if no one is currently living there. Here they talk about the scheme and explain how it can help you dodge common letting headaches.

Barking and Dagenham is home to Better Extreme, London’s largest indoor skatepark. Whatever your discipline, be it skateboarding, inline, BMX or scootering, there’s a challenge waiting for you.

Newsletter Sign Up

Barking and Dagenham Post twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Barking and Dagenham Post
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now