Estate agents sped to the rescue when a fire placed an entire street in peril.
The crew from Connells didn’t waste a second when they spotted smoke near their Oxley Park office.
They ran to Cagney Crescent where two garages, just metres away from houses, had burst into flames.
“Within a minute of us getting there there was a massive bang as petrol that was being stored in containers exploded. The flames quickly took hold, and we realised there was a real danger of it spreading to the houses,” said Connells branch manager Laura Garnett.
“There must have been 25 people just standing around filming the fire on their mobile phones... Nobody was doing anything, yet people were in real danger. We knew we had to act quickly.”
While firefighters were racing to the scene, Laura fired instructions at her staff to knock on doors and evacuate the residents. Young hair stylist Tyler from nearby Golson hairdressers also helped.
“A lady who owned one of the garages was in real distress, saying her dog and cat were inside the house. The lady had a hip problem and was threatening to go inside for her pets. I knew I had to help,” said Laura.
She went into the house, which was rapidly filling with smoke, and found the dog, a staffie. The householder followed her, calling for the cat.
“Suddenly there was a second explosion and I knew we had to get out immediately. I just bearhugged the woman, picked her up and carried her out,” said Laura.
Seconds later firefighters arrived and spotted another large cannister of fuel that was about to explode.
“If that had gone off it could have wiped out the whole street,” said Laura.
Three crews and an officer battled the flames, averted another explosion and prevented the fire from spreading to the houses.
The blaze was just 50 metres away from Oxley Park Academy, where pupils were evacuated to the school hall as a precaution.
Meanwhile a headcount revealed all the Cagney Crescent residents were safely outside and even the pets were all accounted for,
“It was certainly quite a drama - but all in a day’s work for an estate agent!” said Laura.
She is pictured (left) with her colleague Laura and haridresser Tyler.