Leyland fire: Young heroes who banged on doors and woke up sleeping residents showed a 'stunning instance of bravery' says Mayor

Three pals who helped save the lives of people sleeping in a burning building on Towngate in Leyland have been praised by the Mayor of South Ribble.

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 10:37 am
Updated Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 10:51 am
Jennifer Mullin, director of communities at South Ribble Council; Coun Jane Bell, Mayor of South Ribble with fire heroes Shania Somerville; Kim Almond and Zach Douglas; plus Mayoress of South Ribble, Emma Sue Heywood

The Mayor Coun Jane Bell met Kim Almond, Zach Douglas and Shania Somerville to thank them for their quick-thinking actions.

Kim, 23, Zach, 20, and Shania were driving towards McDonald’s in Leyland close to midnight on May 20 when they saw the fire which had already engulfed much of the building in Towngate.

After pulling over, blasting the car horn repeatedly and calling 999 – and seeing that the fire was out of control, ravaging the building – they went in the building, banged on doors and woke up the sleeping residents to lead them to safety.

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the aftermath of the fire in Towngate, Leyland

The three now plan to do a sponsored walk from Leyland to Manchester United’s Old Trafford ground to help the victims who lost so much in the fire.

The Mayor said: “What an amazing thing to do – they have already done more than enough.

"We salute them and we are so proud of their efforts.

"Life savers, literal life savers.”

Meeting them in the new dementia-friendly Peace Garden in the grounds of the council’s Civic Centre in Leyland, the mayor thanked them for their dramatic intervention.

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Footage shows moment Leyland shop and flats were engulfed in flames

The Mayor said: "“This is a simply unbelievable story and a stunning instance of bravery.

“What lovely young people they were.

"I’ve worked with young people for many years and this reaffirms my belief that although young people can get a bad press sometimes, there are plenty of brilliant, well-intentioned, caring people out there like Zach, Kim and Shania whom we all applaud and look up to after this phenomenal rescue mission.

“Ringing 999 was absolutely the right thing to do.

"But they used their judgement and did what probably none of us would have done: they risked their lives in order to save another.

The Mayor continued: “This is a stunning instance of bravery.

The Mayor wished them luck with their sponsored walk.

The link for donations to the walk, this will be shared on the Mayor of South Ribble Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SRBCMayor.