Essex

Naked fire Braintree bus leap man says he 'would have jumped'

Mitchell Cook (l) with hero bus driver Andy Waterman Image copyright Richard Smith
Image caption Mitchell Cook (l) said meeting his saviour Andy Waterman had been 'overwhelming'

A homeless man who found himself naked in a blazing building says he would have jumped to the ground had a bus driver not rescued him.

Mitchell Cook had been in the shower of a homeless shelter in Braintree when a fire took hold earlier this month.

Passing bus driver Andy Waterman pulled up next to the building so Mr Cook could leap on to the roof the bus.

Mr Waterman has been presented with a commendation from the Essex Chief Fire Officer.

Image copyright Richard Smith
Image caption Bus driver Andy Waterman Mitchell Cook had shown courage in making the leap on to the top of his bus

Chief Fire Officer Adam Eckley said Mr Waterman's actions possibly saved Mr Cook's life.

Mr Cook, who was not seriously injured in his 10ft (3m) leap, told BBC Essex he was in such danger he was contemplating jumping the much greater distance from the window to the ground - and would have done if the bus had not appeared.

He said meeting Mr Waterman in private had been an "overwhelming" experience.

Image copyright Richard Smith
Image caption Essex Chief Fire Officer Adam Eckley said Mr Waterman's actions had possibly saved Mr Cook's life
Image copyright Essex County Fire & Rescue
Image caption Firefighters had to tackle the blaze in the roof of the three-storey building from an aerial ladder platform

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