Essex

Child dropped from window during Clacton flat fire

St John's Road, Clacton
Image caption A child was rescued from a flat fire in Clacton

A child was dropped from a window during a flat fire and caught by members of the public.

Firefighters were called to a blaze above a shop in Clacton, Essex, at 23:05 GMT on Tuesday.

When crews arrived, one occupant was still inside but a child, thought to be aged three to four, had been lowered out of the window and caught by two nearby shop workers.

Their actions were described as "truly selfless" by the fire station manager.

The rescuers were Jamie Glander, 24, from Clacton, and Justin Kelly, 22, from St Osyth. They both work at the One-Stop opposite the flat, in St John's Road, and had just come off shift when they noticed the smoke "billowing out" of the flat and rushed to help.

Image caption The fire broke out at around 23:05 GMT

Mr Glander, whose shoes were melted by the heat from the blaze, said he helped evacuate the neighbours while Mr Kelly caught the child, thought to be a girl.

Mr Glander said: "It's lucky it wasn't me who caught the little girl because I can't catch."

The men said they had not thought about their safety and just acted swiftly in the moment.

Clacton Fire Station watch manager Ruben Frost said: "The actions of these members of the public were truly selfless.

"When they saw the fire they tried to tackle it with a fire extinguisher. Once it was clear that the occupants couldn't get out of the flat, they also helped to rescue the child by catching them after being lowered out of the window.

"These two people were incredibly brave and selflessly did everything we could to help the occupants of the flat."

Mr Glander's mother, Sharon Rawlinson, said she was "so proud" of both rescuers. "Not all heroes wear capes," she said.

The cause of the fire was found to be accidental.

Image caption Members of the public helped to rescue the child and fight the fire

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