Duo rescue man from bedroom fire in Livingston

Rescuers Gary Salmond, left, and Del Robertson. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
Rescuers Gary Salmond, left, and Del Robertson. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
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TWO hero neighbours have told how they pulled a man from a burning bedroom in Livingston moments before glass shattered in the property.

TWO hero neighbours have told how they pulled a man from a burning bedroom in Livingston moments before glass shattered in the property.

Del Robertson and Gary Salmond sprang into action after spotting flames licking the window of the family home on Ferguson Way.

Two children under five were sleeping just yards away in the next bedroom and the man’s partner rushed to save the youngsters when she heard the window explode.

It is understood the fire, which happened at around 7.45pm on Tuesday, was sparked by a lit cigarette after the man fell asleep.

But last night the heroic pair, who both suffered the effects of smoke inhalation, insisted they had simply done what anyone else would.

Gary, 43, said: “I’m an ex soldier. I looked at it like there was someone in there and I need to get him out. You don’t need to think – you just react.”

The veteran told how he ran across the street and into the house after his daughter caught sight of the blaze from his kitchen window.

Next door neighbour and window cleaner Del, 44, was also alerted to the fire and rushed to the house.

The pair ran past the man’s partner, who was running out of the house with her three-year-old daughter and five-year-old son.

She screamed for help, warning someone was still inside.

Battling against flames and thick smoke, they managed to make it upstairs, with Gary opening the bedroom door to find the injured man crawling towards them with burns to his chest. They helped the man downstairs and out of the back door to safety, before emergency services took over and took him to St John’s Hospital.

Del, who was treated to a celebratory pint yesterday afternoon in honour of his bravery, said: “Once we got up to the top of the stairs, it was frightening. The heat just hit you. But it’s just a reaction – you know somebody’s in there and you need to get him out.”

Neighbours have now launched a Facebook drive to raise funds for the family, who have had to leave their home.

Fire incident commander Brendan Stutt said: “This fire could have resulted in a tragedy and it must remind us all never to take fire safety for granted.” Last month the News reported how two workmen alerted residents after a blaze on Trinity Crescent.