Tayside and Central Scotland

'Brave at heart' Scots honoured

Ricci Foreman tried to save Ms McCagh
Image caption Ricci Foreman tried to save Jessica McCagh after she was set alight

A man who attempted to save a girl who was set on fire by her boyfriend has been recognised for his bravery.

Ricci Foreman, 20, was one of 50 people honoured for their acts of courage at the inaugural Brave@Heart Awards.

Mr Foreman, from Arbroath in Angus, was just 19 when he found his friend and neighbour Jessica McCagh "covered from head to toe in flames".

As the teenager screamed for help, Mr Foreman repeatedly filled a fish tank with water to try and put the fire out.

However, the flames kept re-igniting and 17-year-old Jessica later died.

Stewart Blackburn, 18, was found guilty of murder and was locked up for life earlier this year.

Mr Foreman, who collapsed from smoke inhalation at the time, said he hoped that anyone else in his position would have done the same.

Recalling the events of 25 April last year, he said: "I heard an explosion and went to investigate, kicking the door down and finding Jessica on fire.

"After trying to douse the flames out with a fish tank, filling it over and over, I was unable to douse the flames. I then dragged Jessica out of the house to her family."

After receiving his award, he said: "It feels quite good, I feel quite proud."

Also rewarded at the ceremony at Edinburgh Castle were teenagers Riah Holland and Kirsten Elder, from Glenrothes in Fife.

The Glenwood High School pupils helped save the life of a woman they spotted on the ledge of a bridge.

'Exceptional bravery'

Despite the 200ft drop, Riah climbed over the barrier to support the woman and her friend Kirsten phoned the police for help.

Kirsten, 16, said: "I was scared at the time when Riah went over the other side.

"Everything was going through my mind about what could happen.

"We're glad we've been recognised for what we've done but at the same time we don't need to be recognised because we're proud of ourselves for doing it."

Riah, 15, said she hoped anyone else would have behaved in the same way and said: "I was scared of heights, I'm not any more."

The girls, along with four other people, were handed a St Andrew's Award, in recognition of their "exceptional bravery".

First Minister Alex Salmond presented the awards and praised the "extraordinary" acts of courage shown by the recipients.

"I am humbled by the heroism of everyone who has been selected for a Brave@Heart Award.

"It has been a privilege to meet them and to hear their stories."

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