Neighbour hailed hero for role in fire rescue

Sion Hill, Ribbleton
Sion Hill, Ribbleton
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A heroic neighbour has today been praised after he saved a great-grandfather from a blaze.

Franny Remaghan‘s quick thinking actions saved Robert Jackson’s life after a fire broke out where he lives.

Franny Remaghan and Robert Jackson

Franny Remaghan and Robert Jackson

The fire, which is being treated as deliberate, started in a storage unit outside a ground floor flat on Sion Hill, 

The blaze, which happened at around 9.30pm on Tuesday night, spread to the ground floor flat and completely 
gutted the premises.

The 62-year-old woman who lived in the flat was able to escape. Mr Jackson, 65, who lives in the flat above had fallen asleep watching football.

Franny, who lives opposite on Sion Close, rushed out when he saw the flames.

He tried to get up the external stairs to Mr Jackson’s flat but was blocked by smoke.

So he resorted to throwing things at the window in a bid to wake Mr Jackson.

The 27-year-old then picked up a wheelie bin and threw it at the bedroom window - waking Mr Jackson.

He then rushed up the stairs to aid Mr Jackson to safety.

The pair were reunited 
yesterday afternoon following the drama. The modest hero played down his life-saving 

His partner, Rebecca Byrne, 30, said how proud she was of what he did.

She added: “Anybody would have done the same.”

Rebecca told how Franny took the shirt of his back to cover Mr Jackson up before rushing him inside and giving him a dressing gown.

Mr Jackson, a father-of-four, said: “If it wasn’t for that lad across the road I wouldn’t be here. There was that much smoke and flames I don’t know how I got through it.”

The great-grandfather, added: “I was fast asleep. I had been laid on the bed watching Chelsea next news the windows were going through and people were screaming. I got out and I couldn’t see anything. If it weren’t for Franny I wouldn’t be here. He threw the bin at the window, he’s a big strong lad, that’s what woke me.”

Watch manager at Preston fire station, Mark Woodward, said Franny did an “excellent job” adding: “He potentially saved that man’s life.”

The daughter of the woman who lived in the ground floor flat said the family had been left in complete shock.

She said: “She was watching TV and got up to go to the toilet and saw flickering. The light (outside) has a tendency to go on and off. She dialled 999 just in time. The police said she is lucky to be alive and she got out just in time.”

The woman had lived in the flat for eight years, but yesterday relatives struggled to salvage her possessions because the fire damage is so bad.

A joint investigation is currently underway between Preston CID and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service is under way.

Detective Inspector Paddy O’Neill from Preston CID said: “We are at the early stages of the investigation and do not yet know how the fire has started but we do know it has originated from a cupboard outside the flat which was used to store old furniture. I would appeal to anybody that was in the Longridge Road or Grange Avenue area of Ribbleton around 9.30pm last night that saw anyone acting suspiciously to contact police on 101.”

Call police on 101.