Derry ‘hero’ rescues couple from house fire

A Londonderry man who saved a couple from a house fire has been praised for his heroism.

Sean McLaughlin - Fire Rescue Hero

Sean McLaughlin – Fire Rescue Hero

Sean McLaughlin entered the burning building twice to pull a woman and a disabled man to safety.

He had been walking home on Saturday night with his girlfriend when they heard a smoke alarm at a bungalow in Altcar Park.

It is the home of a middle-aged couple – one of whom is a wheelchair user.

“The man couldn’t walk, he was sitting on the bed and there was flames all around him, his knees were starting to go up in flames,” Sean McLaughlin explained.

I just did what anybody else would have done really, going past at the time.SEAN MCLAUGHLIN

“When I got him in the wheelchair I got him outside and tapped him down and asked him if there was anyone still in there, he started shouting his partner’s name.

“I heard her shouting for help and pulled her out.”

Sean’s selfless actions have won praise from the Fire and Rescue Service, who said there could be no doubt that lives were saved.

Andrew Russell of the NIFRS said: “His actions were very brave, heroic.

“We were met with a fully-developed fire, the property was fully engulfed and no doubt his actions saved their lives.”

Credit: UTV

Credit: UTV

The damaged house was being sealed on Monday afternoon.

Personal effects could be seen including a handbag and purse – a silent reminder that these charred remains are home to a couple who are being treated for serious burns.

The Fire Service also took the opportunity to call for all homeowners to make sure they have a working smoke alarm, as that is what alerted Sean to the incident.