Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Outstanding Act of Bravery

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Outstanding Act of Bravery

Article excerpt

MICHAELA WALLER - WINNER AFTER noticing thick smoke in her bungalow while babysitting, Michaela Waller's first thought was to get her siblings away from the danger.

The 15-year-old led the youngsters - two of whom have severe medical conditions - away from the toxic fumes.

Michaela, pictured right, of Petch Street, Stockton, says she smelt smoke as she was caring for her brothers and sisters.

When she looked in her brother's room she saw smoke so she grabbed her little sister and ran out the backdoor.

After getting Melinda, five, out the house, Michaela returned for Brandon, six, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder which means at times he uses a wheelchair, George, four, who suffers from chronic asthma, and Mia, two.

The fire in August started after a foam pillow, which had been left against a heater, caught alight, releasing poisonous fumes into the room. Once outside, Michaela managed to open the garden gate - which she usually finds too heavy to open, and take her siblings to her neighbour's house.

Michaela also had the foresight to lock the family pets in the dog run so they would not be in the way of firefighters.

As Michaela's thought to close doors behind her, the house only suffered smoke damage in the blaze. Michaela was nominated for the award by neighbour Gill Fisher took the family in and called the fire brigade.

The 49-year-old said: "She had the presence of mind to get her brothers and sisters out. It shows she's a responsible young carer, who needs some recognition."

FRANKIE BISHOP - FINALIST FRANKIE Bishop, above, risked his life to rescue his grandma and girlfriend after a fire broke out at their home.

The 18-year-old raised the alarm after he smelled smoke shortly after he went to bed. On noticing black smoke at the top of the stairs he alerted his disabled grandma Nancy Pincott.

Frankie then helped the 64-year-old from the house, before returning twice to save girlfriend Sammii Watts, 19, and their springer spaniel, Tanya.

The Stockton Riverside College student also called firefighters, who commended him for his quick-thinking actions.

Frankie says he was scared but that a burst of adrenaline helped him save his loved-ones' lives as the flames tore through their home in September. …

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