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Samuel Garside House fire: Hero brothers who raised the alarm honoured with leadership award

PUBLISHED: 17:12 21 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:12 21 August 2019

Front row: Cllr Darren Rodwell, LFB commissioner, Dany Cotton, Taylor Dodd, Harrison Happe, Fire Cadet coordinator, Rachel Foster and the boys' mum, Clare Heatley. Picture: Jon King

Front row: Cllr Darren Rodwell, LFB commissioner, Dany Cotton, Taylor Dodd, Harrison Happe, Fire Cadet coordinator, Rachel Foster and the boys' mum, Clare Heatley. Picture: Jon King

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Two brothers whose quick-thinking could have saved lives during the Samuel Garside House fire have scooped awards.

Harrison Happe, 12, and Taylor Dodd, 17, helped get people out of Samuel Garside House after raising the alarm and calling 999. Picture: Jon KingHarrison Happe, 12, and Taylor Dodd, 17, helped get people out of Samuel Garside House after raising the alarm and calling 999. Picture: Jon King

Harrison Happe and Taylor Dodd received the Leader's Recognition Award from Barking and Dagenham Council leader, Cllr Darren Rodwell, and London Fire Brigade (LFB) commissioner, Dany Cotton, at a ceremony on Wednesday, August 21.

Ms Cotton said: "For young people like yourselves to show such bravery and courage in the face of very challenging [circumstances] makes me immensely proud.

"What you did was exceptional. Thank you. You have been absolutely outstanding."

Harrison was the first to spot the blaze at the apartment block opposite his family home in De Pass Gardens, Barking Riverside.

The 12-year old shouted at people to get out after seeing the flames as he was cycling past.

The youngster sped home and told Taylor, 17, who dialled 999 before rushing outside to alert residents.

The Barking and Dagenham College student said: "My first instinct was to make sure everyone was safe. We were lucky [the fire] wasn't critical or fatal."

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Taylor helped clear a path for the some of the 100 firefighters who fought the flames moving people - some of whom were filming the blaze - and pointing out where a fire hydrant was.

The young heroes credited the LFB's Fire Cadets - of which they are both members - for having shown them what to do.

Humble Harrison, said: "I didn't do it for an award. I did it for the people in the building."

Taylor added: "I never did it to be rewarded. I did it for the community."

Mum, Clare Heatley, said she was "extremely proud" of her boys, paying tribute to the Barking and Dagenham Fire Cadets unit where she also volunteers.

Firefighter, Scott Jones, who was at the fire, said: "It was pretty frantic so for the boys to be level-headed and do what they did was admirable."

This is the third time Cllr Rodwell has given out Leader's Recognition Awards since becoming council leader five years ago.

Presenting certificates at the Dagenham fire station ceremony, Cllr Rodwell said God only knew what would have happened if the boys hadn't have done what they did.

An LFB spokesman said the cause of the fire on June 9 is still under investigation.

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