A young hero in his boxer shorts saved the lives of up to a dozen people when fire threatened to engulf a terrace of maisonettes.
In an adrenaline-fuelled burst of strength, Sam Hindmarch dragged a semi-conscious man out of his flat through a back window from a blazing living room.
“I don’t think I’m a hero. It’s what anyone would have done,” Sam told the Citizen afterwards.
The 21-year-old did not hesitate when his girlfriend woke him at 5am on Tuesday complaining she could smell burning outside their maisonette in The Hide. Netherfield.
He said: “I looked outside and saw there was a fire at a flat six doors away. I know these houses can go up like a tinderbox so I had to get the neighbours out,” he said.
“I jumped out of bed in my boxer shorts and ran down the road knocking on everybody’s doors, shouting at them to wake up and get outside.”
Barefooted Sam then ran round the back of the flat that was the seat of the fire.
He saw middle-aged tenant Desmond Titus looking dazed inside a room full of smoke.
“He was by the back windows. He was sort of conscious but confused. I just grabbed him and pulled him through the window,” said Sam.
Three fire crews arrived to find everybody safe, though a neighbour’s six month-old baby was taken to hospital for routine checks.
“Luckily she was fine but it was really scary,” said her mum.
Firefighters battled for 30 minutes to put out the inferno, which caused severe damage to four flats.
A neighbour said: “The flames were huge. It was terrifying. We thought it would spread through the block.”
Police and fire experts are now investigating the cause of the blaze.
Officers had been called to Mr Titus’s ground floor flat to deal with a complaint about loud music half an hour before the fire started.
Meanwhile neighbours have given Sam a new nickname. “He truly is our Fireman Sam!” said one.