Off-duty firefighter praised for saving man from a Romsey flat fire

James Everett has been awarded a commendation from Chief Officer Neil Odin for his bravery during a fire last year

James Everett


17/05/2023 1:45pm


Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service

The quick-thinking actions of an off-duty firefighter have been praised following a flat fire in Romsey.

Firefighter James Everett was returning home on Tuesday morning (20 Dec) when he heard a neighbour’s alarm sounding and could smell smoke.

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When James went to investigate, he saw heavy smoke coming from the ground floor flat and banged on the door to alert the man inside.

James, who is a firefighter with St Mary’s green watch and an on-call firefighter and co-responder for Romsey, said:

“I phoned 999 and when the man opened the door there was a rush of smoke that came billowing out.

“The smoke was waist height, but as he came nearer to the door I just went in slightly and grabbed him to pull him out.

“After I dragged him out, I sat him down and then banged on the door of the upstairs flat and told them to get out because there was a fire.

“I then went back into the flat to check there was nobody else inside and see where the fire was.”

MicrosoftTeams image (41)Crews from Redbridge and St Mary’s were sent to the scene, in Mercer Way, to put the fire out.

And James provided immediate emergency care for the occupant, who was suffering from smoke inhalation.

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Group Manager Dave Clements said:

“James’ actions undoubtedly saved this man’s life and prevented what could have been a very serious fire incident from escalating.

“He didn’t pause for a second to think about the risks to himself and his bravery and dedication deserve to be recognised.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank James for what he did and also remind people that if you hear a smoke alarm sounding, please dial 999.

“This underlines the importance of remaining vigilant and having working smoke detectors, and I urge people to test their alarms regularly.”

James received his Chief Officer’s Commendation award from Chief Fire Officer Neil Odin at Service Headquarters in May.

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