A YOUNG schoolboy with dreams of becoming a firefighter has helped save the life of a woman trapped in a blaze.
Now real-life firefighters have been quick to heap praise on the 12-year-old.
Joe Turner alerted the emergency services when he spotted thick black smoke billowing from a property on Lavender Close on Runcorn's Grange Estate.
Peeping through a window of the ground floor flat, Joe was shocked to see the occupant - a middle-aged woman - asleep in the lounge, oblivious to the danger.
Quick as a flash, Joe raised the alarm and kept shouting through the letterbox and banging on the window until the woman woke. He then escorted her to safety.
The fire needed three fire crews to deal with it and the woman had to be given oxygen after inhaling fumes.
Joe, accompanied by his best pal, Kirsty Cross, also 12, hot-footed it to Grange High School to tell their headteacher, David Stanley, about the incident.
It was only then that the full extent of Joe's actions became known as he explained how they had been forced to hold their breaths in order to carry out the daring rescue.
Recalling the incident, plucky Joe, of Victoria Road in Runcorn, said: 'I was walking past with my best friend when I heard a fire alarm and saw all the smoke coming from the building.
'I really wasn't expecting anyone to be inside, I was quite shocked.
'I really got concerned when I saw she was asleep and was facing away from us.
'The smoke was quite thick when we went in and we tried not to breathe it in.
'My friend Kirsty was helping me stay calm while we got help.
'Everyone keeps coming up to us in school now, asking what happened.
'I've always wanted to work in the emergency services.'
The brave duo have now been rewarded for their efforts with a letter and WH Smith voucher from their teachers. Joe intends to spend his on a book about the fire brigade.
The pupils' names were also read out as part of a special school assembly.
Mr Stanley said: 'The initiative, responsibility and care for others both pupils demonstrated managed to avoid serious injury and possible loss of life.'
Firefighters believe the woman, who hasn't been named, was lucky to escape alive.
Leading firefighter Steve White said: 'It could have escalated into a serious fire if she hadn't woken up - she could easily have suffered the consequences of inhaling too much smoke.
'The children did everything exactly right.
'They called out the paramedics and three fire crews attended the scene.'
The blaze is believed to have been caused by food which was left unattended on the cooker.