Watch West Lothian delivery driver describe the moment he saved families after spotting a flat fire while working
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Kenny Beatson, 49, from Armadale, was delivering parcels for Amazon for independent delivery company Pegasus in Gorebridge before Christmas when he discovered a fire had broken out in a block of flats.
Among those trapped in the blaze was a family of seven with five children – the youngest of which was only 10 weeks old.
The family were unable to leave the building as the smoke was too great, and Kenny’s first instinct was to call the fire brigade and alert the residents to the danger.
From outside, he advised them to keep away from the door and stay near the windows to get fresh air and tried to keep the family as calm as possible until the fire brigade arrived.
Elouise Cox, who lives on the first floor of the block of flats, said: “On the day of the fire Kenny wasn’t even delivering to my flat. If it wasn’t for him I can’t even imagine what could have happened. He saved my life, my children’s lives and also my neighbours’ life and I can’t thank him enough.
“He put his own life on the line to save the families in this block and he is a hero. We can’t imagine the outcome had he not done something and we are all so grateful.”
Kenny said: “My gut reaction was to alert everyone in the flat. I’ve phoned the fire brigade and I’m relaying to the family trapped up there what is happening.
“I didn’t really do anything, I just did what I’d expect others to do. I don’t see myself as a hero but my family are all really proud of me.”
He added: “It’s really touching that as far as Elouise is concerned, if I hadn’t done what I did, she doesn’t think she and her family would be here. It’s quite overwhelming, really.
“I’ve got kids of my own and I can’t imagine what they were going through.”
Keen amateur chef Kenny, who once won a competition for home cooks, also received a surprise video message from one of his heroes, Michelin star chef Tom Kitchin, after he heard about his brave actions.
In the video message, Tom says: “I’ve heard about your heroic act, and Amazon have actually bought you a voucher to come to my restaurant.”
Kenny is now looking forward to his slap-up meal at Tom’s multi-award-winning Edinburgh restaurant, The Kitchin.
He said: “It’s amazing to think one of my heroes has given me a personal message. The fact that I will be having a meal at The Kitchin, and I’ll finally get to meet him, is absolutely unbelievable!”
Bruce Waddell, Senior Delivery Station Manager, said: “I could not be prouder and would like to thank Kenny for his bravery. I think the job all the drivers do in delivery stations across the UK is phenomenal and Kenny’s a real credit to that profession.”