A PENSIONER and an duty police officer have been hailed as heroes after putting out a blaze which threatened to destroy to a family’s home.
OAP Kenneth Gould and Derbyshire chief inspector Steve Wilson stopped a fire causing serious damage to a house in Ripley after it has caused electrical wiring to explode and caused damage to two neighbouring homes
They used a hose and got neighbours and onlookers to form a chain filling buckets of water from a fish pond to douse the flames.
Chief Inspector Wilson, 41, was on his way to work when he spotted black smoke billowing into the sky from a shed dangerously close to the house, where a family of five live.
He pulled up in his car and ran towards the flames at the back of the semi-detatched house in Stanley Street, where he found Mr Gould already bravely fighting the fire using a garden hose.
The fire happened at 5pm on Thursday and when Chief Inspector Wilson arrived it has already spread to a neighbour’s fencing and the home’s plastic guttering despite Mr Gould’s gallant efforts, he said this week.
The quick thinking officer spotted Mr Gould, who lives next door had a fish pond in his garden and he instructed onlookers to grab buckets, form a chain and douse the shed with water.
Chief Insp Wilson, who works at police headquarters in Ripley, said: “I guess I was just in the right place at the right time really.”
The inspector said his first priority was to make sure everyone was out of the house while Mr Gould fought the fire the blaze with the hose.
Most of the family had already managed to get out unhurt - but an older male with mobility difficulties was still in the house, according to witnesses. He was not injured.
They managed to bring the flames under control as firefighters from Alfreton arrived to take over.
Mr Gould is now recovering this week after suffering from smoke inhalation, said the electric wiring on the side of the house exploded when flames reached it. Hundreds of pounds worth of damage were caused to both his neighbour’s and his own property.
He said: “I remember looking outside and there was smoke coming past my window - I saw the flames catch fire to the wires on the side of the house and they just burst into flames, there was an explosion.”
It is believed fire was started by a discarded cigarette in the shed of the Amber Valley Housing owned property. The family have since been rehomed while repairs are made to the house, said a spokesman for the housing firm.
A police spokesman said: “Chief Inspector Wilson acted quickly and with bravery to help put out the fire. He reacted instinctively to prevent the situation from becoming more serious.
“We would also like to give praise to the neighbour who assisted in extinguishing the fire. It was fortunate that such a skilled and quick-thinking member of the public was on hand.”