Ex-firefighter searches for trapped occupants in house threatened by fire

Firefighters at the scene

Firefighters at the scene

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A CONCERNED retired firefighter smashed down the door of a Langney Point house last week as a shed blaze started to spread towards a home.

The flames took hold of the shed, which was adjacent to a house in Gardener Close, at around 9.30am on Friday morning (January 13).

Shed blaze at Gardener Close, Langney Point

Shed blaze at Gardener Close, Langney Point

Angelo Errigo, who lives in Sovereign Harbour, was driving along Ramsay Way at the time and saw thick black smoke coming from a nearby property.

Mr Errigo, who served in the fire service for more than 38 years, drove to where the smoke was coming from and tried to help.

He said, “I could tell by the smoke that it was a building fire.”

Mr Errigo smashed down the door of the house and searched for anyone who may have been inside.

Angelo Errigo a former London fire fighter who discovered a fire and entered the building to check for occupants. 17 January 2012. E03071N

Angelo Errigo a former London fire fighter who discovered a fire and entered the building to check for occupants. 17 January 2012. E03071N

Meanwhile, the shed fire was spreading and the windows of the house had smashed from the heat.

Luckily there was no-one inside and Mr Errigo, and another man who also ran inside to help, waited for the emergency services to arrive.

He said, “Once we realised there was no-one in there we waited for the professionals to turn up.

“I didn’t even think about it - it is second nature.

“I just wanted to check there were not elderly people or children sleeping in the house. People are not supposed to leave their children on their own but sometimes they do, and I just wanted to make sure there was no-one inside.”

Mr Errigo was one of 12 people to dial 999 as the plume of thick black smoke could be seen from miles around. He also forewarned crews that a gas main was alight.

Two Eastbourne appliances with 10 firefighters were sent to the blaze.

Transco and UK Power also attended to isolate supplies to the property.

The crews were on scene until 11am.