Stars of Norfolk & Waveney: Top award goes to man who put out fire with his bare hands

EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards 2015 at St Andrews Hall, Norwich. Michael Bowley, winner of

EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards 2015 at St Andrews Hall, Norwich. Michael Bowley, winner of overall star of the year.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

When Michael Bowley saw flames licking the inside of a care home in Thetford, he did not spare a thought for himself.

EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards 2015 at St Andrews Hall, Norwich. Michael Bowley, winner of

EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards 2015 at St Andrews Hall, Norwich. Michael Bowley, winner of overall star of the year.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

Instead, the 70-year-old rushed straight inside and started to put out the flames, using what he had – his hands.

Suffering blisters that took months to heal, Mr Bowley put out flames on a window ledge, while his daughter-in-law ushered residents of the care home outside.

The pair's brave actions saved the lives of eight residents, prompting Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service to present him with the Society for the Protection of Life from Fire Award.

His courage convinced judges at the EDP Stars of Norfolk & Waveney Awards on Thursday night that he should be the winner of the Outstanding Bravery of the Year Award.

But so impressed by the tale, the panel also decided that Mr Bowley should take home the prestigious Overall Star of Norfolk and Waveney Award.

He was presented with €500 to take on a mystery mini-cruise provided by Fred Olsen Travel, after going years without a break.

Humble Mr Bowley said he was surprised to win and that he had done what anyone in his position would have done.