Firefighter describes dramatic rescue operation from Great Yarmouth flat

Great Yarmouth fire fighters, left, watch manager Kev Game and right, fire fighter Andrew Masterson

Great Yarmouth fire fighters, left, watch manager Kev Game and right, fire fighter Andrew Masterson - Credit: Archant

A firefighter who helped save three people from a burning flat has described the dramatic rescue operation.

Andrew Masterson, 38, was part of a crew called to a fire in Great Yarmouth in the early hours of Tuesday.

During the rescue, he had to scale his ladder three times into clouds of thick black smoke to help lead the family down to safety.

And it was thanks to his efforts – along with the other firefighters on the scene – that mother Tamsin Warnes, 25, her four-year-old son Jay, and her teenage sister, Chelsea, survived the ordeal.

Speaking about the moment he arrived, Mr Masterson said: 'Once the BA [breathing apparatus] team made entry into the building, we saw people hanging out of the window with lots of smoke pouring out, so we put up the ladder and went to get them.

'It was very smokey and difficult to breathe at the top. They were struggling to breathe and I don't think they would have lasted much longer in the conditions up there.'

Mr Masterson, of Beccles, brought down the family members one by one, starting with the young boy – whom he carried in his arms.

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He did all of this without any breathing equipment due to the urgency of the situation.

Despite being taken to hospital to be checked over after the rescue, Mr Masterson returned to finish his shift.

Great Yarmouth station watch manager and incident commander Kev Game said: 'We just went to action and did what we had to do.

'My first reaction was we have to get them down quickly because the smoke was pouring out and we didn't know how long they had been there for.

'I was more concerned about if it got too much for them, they would jump out of the window. It was testing for us but that is what we train for.'

Have you been saved by the fire service? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684