Leyland fire heroes applauded by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in House of Commons

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has personally thanked the Leyland fire heroes who rushed into a burning building to save lives last week.

By Matthew Calderbank
Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 5:37 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th May 2021, 11:53 am

Speaking at PMQs today (Wednesday, May 26), Boris Johnson thanked Kim Almond, 23, Zach Douglas, 20, Shania Somerville, 22, and Robin Briggs, 19, for their "bravery and selflessness".

The Prime Minister shared his admiration for the young heroes after their late-night rescue efforts was raised by South Ribble MP Katherine Fletcher.

*You can watch Boris Johnson make a speech thanking Kim, Zach, Shania and Robin in our video player above.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has thanked the four Leyland fire heroes whose quick-thinking and selfless bravery is believed to have saved the lives of those who were asleep inside their Towngate flats when a huge fire broke out shortly after midnight last Thursday (May 20)

Standing up in the House of Commons this afternoon, Ms Fletcher said: "Last Thursday, about 1am, three young people popped out to Maccy D's...as you do.

"They noticed a Leyland shop massively on fire, and did they drive past? No. They rang the fire brigade, they stopped, they recruited a passerby, they climbed over fences and walls to raise the alarm to the residents living in the flats above the shops.

"Now, during the pandemic, community spirit has been really important to all of us in keeping going, so does the Prime Minister share my admiration for Kim, Zach, Shania and Robin - and will he join me in thanking them for showing British community spirit and true Lancashire grit?"

And the Prime Minister was more than happy to share his own admiration for them.

The aftermath of the fire which engulfed a shop and flats in Towngate, Leyland on Thursday, May 20

He said: "Yes, I thank my honourable friend for singling out this intrepid act of quick thinking and selflessness and I pay tribute to Kim, Zach, Shania and Robin."

The PM then quipped: "And I hope that they got their Maccy D's!

Dad-of-one, Zach Douglas, said he was in "shock" when he heard that the Prime Minister had personally thanked him and his friends for their brave actions.

"My mum just started crying because she was that proud of us," said Zach.

"Me and Kim were in complete shock to be honest. Someone had mentioned it to us, but at that point we didn’t know exactly what had been said, so it came as a huge surprise when we saw the footage of Boris Johnson thanking us.

"It really seems to have lifted people's spirits and I’m glad its had that effect. I think it’s what everyone needed after lockdown."

Just minutes after Mr Johnson's tribute to the four aired on national television, Kim, who was at work, said her phone began "going insane".

The 23-year-old, who intends to become a police officer, said: "I was just shocked, I was speechless and just grateful he noticed our bravery. My whole office started congratulating me. It has been a hell of a week!"

Following the devastating fire in Towngate, Leyland fire chief Tom Cookson has also praised the life-saving efforts of the Leyland pals.

He said: "I applaud the four brave people for their public service in relation to recognising the hazards and risk associated with this incident, which resulted in them raising the alarm to adjacent flats and assisting people to safety."

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