Two brave men who smashed their way into a burning home with a flower pot to save a 94-year-old woman have been nominated for Your Champions.
Lucas Cooper, 26, from Ellesmere Port and Chris Johnston, 34, from Liverpool carried Florence Millichap to safety following the blaze on Oliver Lane, Great Sutton. The pair subsequently received a special award from Cheshire Fire Service for the brave actions that saved her life.
Mr Johnston was driving past the house when he noticed smoke coming from inside at around 1.30pm last November. He pulled over and banged on the door but got no answer.
Mrs Millichap’s neighbour, Mr Cooper, then came over to see what was happening as Mr Johnston called the fire service and went around the back.
Opening the back door, he was faced with thick black smoke and flames but called out and heard a woman call back. Looking through the patio doors the pair saw Mrs Millichap lying on the floor and used a concrete flower pot to smash the glass doors and rescue her as fire crews arrived at the scene.
Mr Cooper said: “It was really distressing to know that someone was trapped inside and we had the opportunity to save them and you just feel helpless.
“Luckily she was quite near the patio doors so we didn’t have to go far inside the house once we had smashed them.”
Mrs Millichap’s son Geoff, who met the pair at the awards ceremony, said: “I am so glad they were there. If it hadn’t been for them, I would have lost my mum that day and to live with that is just terrifying to think about. I just can’t thank them enough and I am so happy I got to do it face to face.”
Chief fire officer Paul Hancock said: “There is no doubt that the actions of these brave men ultimately saved the lady’s life and they certainly deserve recognition for what they did. We would never encourage anyone to go inside a burning building but they did not give up and her family is understandably truly thankful to them. These men deserve recognition and this award is our way of acknowledging their bravery.”