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Firefighter rewarded for brave rescue act

PUBLISHED: 17:21 16 December 2008 | UPDATED: 09:26 11 August 2010

A FIREFIGHTER who helped rescue three people from a burning block of flats has been honoured for his bravery. Robert Norris, a temporary crew manager at Dagenham Fire Station in Rainham Road North, was awarded a special commendation by the London Fire Br

A FIREFIGHTER who helped rescue three people from a burning block of flats has been honoured for his bravery.

Robert Norris, a temporary crew manager at Dagenham Fire Station in Rainham Road North, was awarded a special commendation by the London Fire Brigade at a ceremony held last month.

Robert was among 40 firefighters called to a massive blaze which had taken hold of a four storey building in Piper Way, Ilford on June 9 this year.

He and four other crew members worked quickly to rescue two women and a child who were trapped on a third floor balcony

The other firemen, based at Ilford and Hainault, were also commended for their part in the rescue.

London Fire Brigade Assistant Commissioner Dave Brow, told the firefighters: "Your actions displayed a high level of skill and professionalism, and care for the public you serve, especially as this was a particularly difficult rescue.

"You are a credit to the London Fire Brigade."

Speaking to the POST this week, 31-year-old Robert, who has spent six years in the fire service, said it felt good to receive the award, but the best feeling came from being able to help the people in danger on the day.

Describing the rescue he said: "The women trapped on the balcony were very frightened and were threatening to jump, so it was important we got to them quickly.

"By all working together we soon managed to get them all down safely."

Robert praised his colleagues and said that team work was essential to the successful rescue, but they didn't see themselves as heroes.

He said: "Although it is nice to be able to make a difference, we were just doing the job we are trained to."

Another commendation was given to James Grant, an Ilford businessman who climbed the building and rescued two children also trapped on a balcony three floors up.

Some of the rescued from the block were treated for smoke inhalation, but nobody was seriously hurt.

The blaze completely destroyed the roof and three flats on the third floor.

The cause of the fire is unknown but arson is suspected.


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