A heroic granddad rescued his two-year-old granddaughter from a raging fire in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Brian Tattingham, 75, wife Gloria, 74, and their two grandchildren were at home in Gooseberry Hill, Luton, on May 31 when he was awoken by a smoke alarm.
Brian said: “My granddaughter was sleeping in her cot and I heard a bang that sounded like it was from outside, and then we heard another bang.
“I opened the living room door and the entire back of the room was ablaze.
“I shouted, ‘get up, we’re on fire!’”
Brian and his wife rushed to get two-year-old granddaughter, Poppy, and grandson, Sam, 16, out of the two-storey bungalow as it filled with black smoke.
He said: “My wife screamed and my grandson Sam came running downstairs and he couldn’t see a thing.
“I was terrified but I thought we just have to get everyone out.”
Brian suffered burns and the effects of smoke inhalation while rescuing his family.
“The kids were fine, I was burned across my shoulders and we were taken to L&D hospital for a check-up.”
Firefighters arrived within minutes to tackle the blaze, which took over an hour to
extinguish, leaving the ground floor of the house a blackened ruin.
Most of the windows have been boarded up, and the couple have been forced to stay with Gloria’s sister in the meantime.
To date, they have no idea what caused the fire in their living room and investigations are ongoing. The couple have lived in the house since 1973 with no problems.
Retired printer Brian said: “Most of the damage is cosmetic. Luckily, the house is built entirely out of brick with concrete floors so the fire didn’t go from one room to the other.”
A Beds Fire and rescue spokesman said: “Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service received a call at 03:52 on Sunday morning about a house fire in Gooseberry Hill South. Two fire engines were sent to the incident and when they arrived seven minutes later they found the fire in the ground floor of a two storey converted bungalow well established.
“The fire, believed to have starting in a ground floor airing cupboard, had spread to the rest of the ground floor but fortunately the elderly couple had been alerted to the beginnings of the fire by their smoke alarm.
“Firefighters got the fire under control within fifteen minutes of arriving and fought it using two hoses, two covering jets and six breathing apparatus. The fire was extinguished by 5am and had seriously damaged the ground floor of the property. Firefighters stayed on scene for several hours damping down and using positive pressure ventilation to clear the property of smoke.”