Award for carer who helped boy in flames

A WOMAN who rushed to help a boy caught up in a fireball after playing with a lighter and paint thinner has won an award.

The youngster’s clothing caught fire as he played with a lighter and some thinners he had found outside a garage in an alleyway.

As 11-year-old Owen Shepherd became engulfed by the flames, Gayle Brown, 38, a carer, of Bridlington, immediately leapt into action, rolling the youngster on the ground in the snow to put out the flames.

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She then gave him emergency first aid while shouting to raise the alarm. Owen was then airlifted to hospital.

A spokeswoman for Humberside Fire and Rescue Service said: “The young boy had to be treated for severe burns but was very lucky because he may not have survived without the fast actions of Gayle.”

Mrs Brown’s fast-thinking saw her presented with the Local Hero Award, which is voted for by members of the public, at the fire service’s annual Community Awards.

The event was held at the Country Park Inn, in Hessle and other winners included 15-year-old Rosie Louis, who disregarded her own safety to help her grandmother’s neighbour from a fire and won the award for the Young Person of the Year.

Rosie heard a smoke alarm from the neighbour’s flat and, despite the smoke in the room, went in and led the elderly gentleman to safety.

An award was also given for the best fire station, which was won by Snaith Fire Station for gaining high performance scores.

Another highlight was the presentation of the Chief’s Award to Andy Preskey, a member of operational staff with the service for more than 20 years.

Two years ago Andy took over as chairman of the board organising the 7 Lakes Rescue in his spare time. Rescue Day has grown into what is believe to be the world’s largest public display of Emergency Services.

Daryl Oprey, head of safety at the fire service, said: “The ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate all of those people who help us achieve our goals and everyone who was nominated, shortlisted and, of course, those who won awards should be very proud of their achievements.”