Heroic Mansfield trio save pensioner’s life

Andy Tuft , left, and Mat Knight recieved chief fire officer's commendation for their courageous action, which saved the man's life
Andy Tuft , left, and Mat Knight recieved chief fire officer's commendation for their courageous action, which saved the man's life

The men who saved who saved the life of a pensioner in a house fire have been honoured for their bravery.

Mat Knight and Andy Tuft are Mansfield District Council joiners who were working on repairs to a fence at a council property on Mansfield’s Ladybrook estate in May when they heard a woman screaming that her house was on fire and her husband was stuck inside the burning building.

They rushed to a property in George Street where they could see smoke pouring from the building.

Father-of-two Mat, 31, who has worked for the council for four years, said: “We went straight in there but we had to try several times to get the man out because the smoke was so thick.”

The woman’s next door neighbour security worker Sam Wilson was already on the scene trying to move the man, who was in his 70s, and between them the three rescuers battled the thick smoke to carry him to safety.

Andy, 47, also a father-of-two, who has worked for the council for 23 years, said: “We just did what had to be done but it was nice to be recognised and to know that the man is OK and alive now. After we got him out, we just went straight back to work.”

Now all three rescuers have been given a chief fire officer’s commendation for their courageous action, which saved the man’s life. The pensioner was taken to hospital and was in a coma for a while before making a recovery.

The Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue awards last week recognised all sorts of community heroes as well as the professional bravery of firefighters.

Nottinghamshire’s chief fire officer John Buckley, said: “It is always a great privilege to be involved with the Service’s annual awards ceremony and to see people recognised for the great work they do and the dedication with which they carry it out.

“A great sense of pride comes from seeing firefighters achieving such milestones in their career as 20 or 30 years’ service, but it is equally important that we recognise when certain individuals have gone above and beyond that which is expected of them in order to ensure the safety and well-being of people in their local communities.

“The awards ceremony gives us the opportunity to do just that, as well as congratulating some brave and dedicated members of the public who have gone out of their way to assist us in our work.”

Mansfield portfolio holder for housing, Councillor Barry Answer said: “We are very proud of Mat and Andy for going well beyond the call of duty in rescuing this pensioner. We are very pleased that their actions saved this man’s life and they certainly deserved to be honoured for their bravery.”