A 15-year-old boy from Ramsgate saved his sister’s life and stopped a blaze from destroying their family home by doing one simple thing – closing his bedroom door.
Nick Bradfield was in bed when large flames started sparking out of an electric fan on the floor next to him shortly after 6am.
The teenager jumped out of bed, switched off the plug and went to alert his 14-year-old sister, Megan, closing the door behind him.
Nick said: “I didn’t really have time to think but I knew closing the door would stop the fire from spreading and stop the smoke from getting through to the rest of the house. It all just happened really quickly.”
The pair got outside their home in St Andrews Road safely, and three fire engines arrived minutes later. Crews wearing breathing apparatus used hose reel jets to extinguish the fire.
Joe Bathurst, Station Manager at Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS), said: “Nick’s decision to close his bedroom door not only helped him and Megan to escape safely and swiftly, but it also stopped the fire from spreading – saving the family home.
“Depending on what type of door you have, a closed internal door can hold back a fire for between 10 and 30 minutes, giving you and your loved ones more time to escape.
“Fires are most likely to start in the kitchen, so it’s extra important to check the kitchen door is shut when you go out or go to sleep.
“Remember, Smoke is No Joke, close internal doors to delay the spread of smoke and fire.”
Nick’s quick-thinking on the day of the fire (31 August) also helped to save one of the family’s dogs, Bear, as he managed to get the Alaskan Malamute, a large Husky breed, into the garden.
Their other dog was out being walked by the children’s mum, Louise, who rushed back home after receiving a panicked call from Megan at around 6.20am.
“All I could hear was smoke alarms sounding,” Louise said. “And I ran faster than I’ve ever run before. When I saw my son and daughter standing outside the house, the relief I felt knowing everyone was ok was just overwhelming.
“There was so much smoke coming out of the house – it was a huge shock. I just couldn’t believe how the damage had been contained to just Nick’s bedroom. The room is completely black. He lost everything that was in there, which I’m so sad about for him. But we will replace it and the most important thing, is that everyone is safe.
“I’m unbelievably proud of Nick – we all are. He saved his sister, Bear, and our entire home.”