TWO Inverclyde community wardens have been hailed as heroes after rescuing a man from a burning flat and evacuating the rest of the building.
Brave Neil Smith and Sophie McKee had just finished their lunch break when they spotted smoke coming from a ground floor property in Port Glasgow.
The quick-thinking pair ran into the building in Court Road and helped evacuate the occupier of the flat as well as 10 other residents and a dog.
They then secured the area until the fire service arrived to extinguish the blaze, which was spreading rapidly.
Neil, who lives in Port Glasgow and has been an Inverclyde Council warden for 13 years, said: “We were on our way back from our lunch break and noticed smoke coming through the window. The whole place was filling up with smoke.
“Other residents were panicking and didn’t know what to do. We ran up to the top floor and got everybody out of the building.
“The residents have been really nice. One lady called up the office just to pass on her thanks and said if it wasn’t for us she might not be here.”
Co-worker Sophie, who lives in Greenock and has only been in the job seven months, said: “We just saw the smoke and abandoned the car basically and ran in. One woman said if it wasn’t for us she wouldn’t have got out.
“The smoke was really bad when we got there. It’s not an everyday thing but we just reacted instinctively.”
Residents have praised the wardens saying the consequences of the blaze on 8 May could have been much worse if it was not for their actions.
Jo-Anne Kelly, who lives in the block, said: “All the neighbours are very grateful. I was completely unaware anything was happening. I was running a bath.
“I’m very thankful for what the community wardens did. Not a lot of people would run into a building that’s on fire. It was above and beyond the call of duty.”
Council Leader Stephen McCabe was also full of praise for the lifesaving pair. He said: “Community wardens already do an outstanding job protecting people in our towns and villages in partnership with police and other emergency services.
“Neil and Sophie can now add ‘heroes’ to their respective CVs because this was a truly heroic act.
“I would like to thank them for all their hard work and for their quick-thinking actions which saved the occupant of the flat and other residents from serious harm or worse.”