A brave boy who helped his 11-year-old younger brother escape a burning house in Northampton has been praised by fire officers for his quick-thinking actions.
Fire crews were called to a home in Briar Hill shortly before 7.10am on Monday, after A 15-year-old boy called 999 to report a fire in the kitchen.
The mother of the children had just left for work.
Luke Hodson, fire investigation manager with Northamptonshire Police, said the fire quickly took hold and cut off the escape route for the teenager and his 11-year-old brother.
He said: “The fire spread rapidly and the ground floor soon became filled with smoke, meaning the boys could not get out through the front or back door.
“The controller who took the 999 call was extremely impressed with the way the 15-year-old responded to such a serious and frightening situation, particularly as his mother had already left for work.
“He remained very calm while they advised him to take his brother to the bathroom upstairs, put towels around the door and open the window. He did this quickly and calmly while also reassuring his younger brother.”
Both boys were rescued by 7.26am and were checked over by a medical crew. They were also taken to hospital for a precautionary check-up.
Four fire appliances attended during the incident and the fire was brought under control by 8am.
Group manager Hodson added: “The boy’s actions and calm response meant fire crews were able to respond swiftly and ensure the safety of the two boys.
“This was a very serious situation and while both boys were quickly brought to safety, unfortunately, some of the family’s cats suffered from the effects of the smoke and sadly died.
“The exact cause of the fire is still being established but it was completely accidental and is a stark reminder of how quickly a fire can take hold.
“I would like to take this opportunity to remind people to review how safe their home is. In particular, make sure you fit and regularly test your smoke alarms, have an escape plan and make sure everyone in the house knows what to do in the event of a fire.”