Hero Chesterfield schoolboy, 10, rescued shop worker after fire fears

Life is sweet for 10 year old hero Leland Dempsey, who came to the rescue of a stranded shopper.
Life is sweet for 10 year old hero Leland Dempsey, who came to the rescue of a stranded shopper.

A hero 10-year-old Chesterfield boy came to the rescue of a staff member who became trapped in a shop when an alarm triggered.

Leland Dempsey, who has autism, was on his way home from Hasland Junior School when he saw smoke coming out of the One Stop shop on Hasland Road, Hasland.

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And while passers-by, believing it was a blaze, phoned for the fire service, Leland bravely helped prise open the shop door with two other boys to rescue the woman.

Leland’s mum, Samantha Kirk, 40, of Hasland, said: “I am remarkably proud of him. It is not something that I would think he would think of doing and he kept so calm.”

The incident at the shop came about when a routine safety check of systems was carried out.

Smoke was released inside the shop - which made it look like a fire to passers-by from the outside. But thankfully there was no emergency and no one was injured.

“Because of his autism Leland does not see danger, he sees logic,” Samantha said.

When the incident was over, Leland went straight home and feared he may be in trouble with his mum.

Samantha said: “He came home with his friend in case he got into trouble to back him up. I was like ‘wow that is amazing’.”

Leland said that he was walking home from school with his best friend, Joshua McMillan, and when they got outside the One Stop they saw the doors were locked, the shop was full of smoke and a woman was trying to get out.

He said that he started pushing at the door until it opened slightly and then with the help of two other boys helped the woman out.

Leland said: “I didn’t feel scared, quite the opposite. I just wanted to help and I feel good that I did. I am proud of myself and would do it again to help someone.”

As a reward for his efforts, the One Stop Shop kindly gave Leland some sweets.

Manager at the shop, Kenny Doran, said: “He was so proud of himself and rightly so because he was brilliant. His first reaction was to help rather than run away which is what a lot of people would have done.”