Nominated for Bravery award
The duty crew of Pontardawe Fire Station were called to a incident at Alltwen, Pontardawe in the early hours of 27 July 2016. A house was on fire and there were 2 boys trapped upstairs. The 2 nearest fire engines, Pontardawe and Morriston, were mobilised.
Conditions faced by the initial crew at the head of the stairs were extreme. The rear bedroom was totally engulfed in fire and visibility on the first floor was down to zero. While the crew fought the fire in the rear bedroom and made progress onto the landing area, the team then crawled along the landing to the front bedroom. 2 team members, both very experienced firefighters, described the temperature at the top of the stairs as the hottest they have ever endured, believed to be more than 800°C at ceiling level.
In the front bedroom a child was found in a cot. One of the crew reached over the cot and cradled the child, protecting him from the extreme temperatures on the landing while making his way back down the stairs. The child was taken from the house and handed to a paramedic; he was a 3 year old boy that suffered only minor smoke inhalation due to the prompt and courageous actions of all of the crew. Sadly, despite the crew’s best efforts, on their return to the property they located a 2nd child who was removed from the property but was pronounced dead.
The prompt arrival of the fire engine, the rapid processing of information at the scene, and the quick execution of a safe tactical plan meant that the life of a 3 year old child was saved. Without the sum of all of their actions and bravery, it is not possible to foresee how the 3 year old would have survived the incident.