A couple who had to be rescued from a burning glamping pod in Frodsham are making good progress in their recovery.
Only a week ago Lydia Wadsworth and boyfriend Rob McDonnell were both in a critical condition at Merseyside’s Whiston Hospital after being dragged from the blaze at Lady Heyes Caravan and Camping Site when a log burner set fire to clothing.
The pair would have ‘died within minutes’ had it not been for quick-thinking local man David Tonks, 56, who ran into the smoke-filled pod to rescue 20-year-old Lydia, of Wigan, and pulled her to safety on the evening of September 23.
After he did so, he noticed Rob, 21, lying unconscious in the corner and with the help of another passerby, ran back into the cabin to rescue him too.
Lydia suffered burns to her right arm and a ‘severely’ damaged respiratory system, while Rob suffered serious internal burns to his windpipe and both remain in hospital.
However, Lydia’s mum Tracey wrote on Facebook that they are doing ‘brilliantly’ and she is looking forward to having them home.
Speaking to The Chronicle last week, Mr Tonks, whose home on Kingsley Road overlooks the glamping pods, told how he was first alerted to the fire by his daughter Millie and her boyfriend Perrie who were in the garden at the time.
“I went out and Millie was outside the pods screaming that people were trapped in Number 7. I could see thick black smoke and then I noticed Lydia with her head out of the window, just covered in black soot,” he recalled.
“She was shouting ‘We’re dying in here’.” He added: “I tried the front door but it wouldn’t open. I thought to myself ‘I can make a difference here’ and I don’t know how I came to think of it but I suddenly remembered I had a multi purpose torch in the car that had a spike on it so I ran to get it and smashed the patio doors.
“It was horrendous in there for Lydia - there were no flames, just thick black smoke and some glowing embers on the floor. I was shouting at her to get out but she kept saying she couldn’t. But I kept telling her ‘you can, I’ve smashed the window, just follow the torchlight’.”
When Mr Tonks eventually managed to get Lydia, of Wigan, out safely he suddenly saw Rob curled up in the corner unconscious and non-responsive.
“I couldn’t move him on my own but luckily at that point someone else arrived and we managed to drag him out together,” he said. “The heat was just unbearable in there, all the plastic around the patio had melted. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for them in there.”