Brave Blake wins an award for fire rescue

Blake Knight on a tour of Bohemia Road fire station
Blake Knight on a tour of Bohemia Road fire station

A heroic six-year-old boy who saved his parents’ lives after their house caught fire has received a special award.

Blake Knight woke up with his bedroom full of smoke during the blaze in February at his home in Stainsby Street, St Leonards, which started after a chip pan caught alight.

He managed to unlock the child gate on his room and went to alert his mum who called the fire brigade but they couldn’t get out because of the smoke. Firefighters led the pair – along with dad Philip who was asleep downstairs – to safety.

And last week Blake’s efforts were honoured at the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service awards in Eastbourne where he was given the Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive Commendation.

Dave Sullivan, crew manager at the Bohemia Road fire station, said: “Although he was obviously shaken, Blake showed great courage and was listening to all the advice without panicking.

“In my opinion, if Blake had not woken up and had not reacted in the calm and controlled manner that he did, we would be looking at an extremely serious incident.

“There were no smoke alarms in the house and severe smoke-logging throughout.

“It is only down to Blake’s actions that the fire was discovered and his family rescued. For those reasons, myself, along with Red Watch, nominated Blake for this award.”

Sadly Blake was ill last week and could not attend his big night, but mum Jo Sillence told the Observer: “We are so proud of him and he is very happy – this is really the icing on the cake.

“He’s had an exciting few months with a tour of the fire station and he got a t-shirt from the firemen which is a bit too big but he keeps wearing it anyway.”

Blake’s award capped a great night for Hastings at the ceremony. Local community volunteer Lawrence Page won the Community Safety Award in recognition of 25 years support for the Bohemia Road station, Jamie Barr – also based at Bohemia Road – took home a prize for championing the coaching for a Safer Community football project which involved 3,000 local youngsters and Ted Williams, crew manager at The Ridge, received an excellence award for significant contribution to road collision skills.

Ted leads the East Sussex extrication team called in after serious accidents and was quick to share the praise with his colleagues after picking up the award.

“It’s a fantastic team and without the individual members, who commit a lot of time to extrication training, we wouldn’t get such great results,” he said.