A MOTHER has praised the heroic actions of a man who saved her home from being destroyed by fire.
Madison Ashton, 41, of Norcross Close, feared the worst when returning from a hospital appointment she saw two of her children running out of the house, and the downstairs filled with smoke.
Thanks to the quick thinking of Nathan Clark, a man she had never met before, no lasting damage was caused to her house or the homes of her neighbours.
She said: “I didn’t know him, and the fact that he risked his life to save everything was very special.
“You hear so much bad news, that when someone does something good it can go unnoticed.”
It was at around 7pm on Wednesday, April 4, that events unfolded.
Twenty people in total live in the building, which comprises two houses and two apartments.
Last Wednesday evening, everybody was at home apart from Madison, who had had an appointment at the Conquest Hospital minutes down the road, and her son Alexander, 23, who had popped out to collect her.
Her other children Demi, 16, and Lou, seven, were at home. The fire had started when a pan of oil in the kitchen ignited. Within seconds, the smoke alarm sounded, alerting Demi who knocked on the neighbour’s door to raise the alarm.
It was as this was all happening that Madison and Alexander pulled up in the car.
She said: “I saw my daughters running out of the house, and the dog running out. I use a wheelchair so could not get out of the car.
“Black smoke was pouring out and I was screaming to my neighbours to get everyone out of the house.”
Madison immediately dialled 999, but before firefighters arrived at the scene, Nathan, the brother-in-law of her neighbour, had battled his way through the smoke and smothered the flames with a wet towel.
Because the fire was contained early on, there was no structural damage, although the downstairs of the house requires redecoration.
Her three children, along with one of the upstairs neighbours, were taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation, but nobody was seriously injured.
Madison said: “We have spent the last week sweeping it out, but it could have been so much worse. I just want to say thank you to this man for what he did.”