Pensioner saved from burning home

A GRANDFATHER has been praised after he rushed into a burning house and helped a pensioner to safety.

Annie Davidson

A GRANDFATHER has been praised after he rushed into a burning house and helped a pensioner to safety.

Heroic Duncan Robinson spotted the fire as he drove past the man's home in Kirby Cross on his way home from work.

The dad-of-four stopped after seeing the kitchen was in flames, went into the house and led the 70-year-old to safety through choking black smoke.

Modest Mr Robinson yesterday played down his brave actions but his daughter, Laura Cocker, said there was no doubt he had saved the pensioner's life.

She said: “Dad said he was driving home from work and as he drove past the house he saw a light in the window.

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“After he went past he realised he did not like the look of it so he reversed and got out the car and could see that the curtains were on fire.

“The front door was open, and he shouted to see if anyone was there and a voice answered 'yes, I am'.

“The man was trying to put the fire out himself and dad had to persuade him to leave the house.

“He could not walk on his own and when they got outside dad had to restrain him from going back inside again and to try and put it out.”

Mr Robinson, 52, alerted a neighbour who called emergency services and two fire crews from Frinton were sent to the scene at around 6.30pm yesterday.

The blaze had started on a stove before spreading around the kitchen, causing major damage to that room and smoke damage to the rest of the house.

Firefighters spent around half-an-hour putting out the blaze.

The homeowner and Mr Robinson, who is asthmatic, both suffered from smoke inhalation in the drama.

The pensioner was taken to Colchester General Hospital for treatment while Mr Robinson was cared for at the scene by paramedics.

Mrs Cocker, of Kirby Cross, said: “The fireman came over and said he thought it would have been a fatality within 10 or 15 minutes if he had stayed inside trying to put out the fire.

“We are all very proud of dad, he was a real lifesaver.”

Station Officer Mark Oxley, from Frinton Fire Station, said: “A man who was driving past the house at the time of the fire, spotted smoke and stopped to see what was on fire.

“He kindly helped bring the 70-year-old man out of his smoke logged house to safety before fire crews had arrived.”

annie.davidson@eadt.co.uk