Stars of Norfolk Awards: Car blaze rescuer would ‘do it again’

Eastern Daily Press Stars of Norfolk 2014 .Overall winner Mark Thompson .Photo : Steve Adams

Eastern Daily Press Stars of Norfolk 2014 .Overall winner Mark Thompson .Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Archant

It was supposed to be a family trip away – but just one hour into the journey and the Thompsons were faced with a dramatic scene.

On the A140 in Creeting St Mary, Suffolk, the Thompsons, from Lakenham, came across a car which burst into flames after a head-on smash with a lorry.

Yet with his terrified wife and young boys looking on, Mark Thompson, 53, acted instinctively and pulled the woman and her dog from the blazing car.

'I realised we didn't have time to wait for the fire service to arrive. The fire was filling the car and burning the woman's legs', the brave dad of two said.

'What choice do you have? A car on fire and someone in there, you just get on with it and do the best you can when you're not trained.'

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The strategy consultant did not see the crash because he was behind the lorry, but he saw the vehicle hurtle into the verge on his near side.

'It all happened really quickly, but I felt lucky to have been able to help,' he said.

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His wife, Merry Halliday, was left standing with their two boys Frasier, six, and Ned, eight, thinking the car was going to explode.

'One of my little boys cried when I got out of the car, the other one was more excited when all the rescue vehicles turned up.

'But many people would have done exactly the same thing in my position.

'I feel like I am getting an award for just being in the right place at the right time.'

Mr Thompson was awarded a certificate of merit at the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service's annual awards ceremony for his actions.

And would he do it all again? 'Without a doubt,' Mr Thompson said.

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