A bride-to-be and her best friend have been hailed heroes after saving an elderly man from his burning flat on their way home from a hen party.
Care assistants Kayleigh Brown and Harriot Woods kicked down the door and dragged him to safety after hearing a smoke alarm on their walk home in North Walsham, Norfolk at 3am.
Kayleigh, 21, was still wearing her bride-to-be veil and sash when she and Harriot, 20, carried out the rescue.
After pulling the OAP, in his seventies, outside into the fresh air, they bravely ran back into the smoke-filled top floor property in search of a child he said was trapped inside.
But he’s thought to have become confused in the drama, for neighbours said later that he lived alone.
The two women suffered minor smoke inhalation, and Harriot had a slight cut to her leg.
Kayleigh said: ‘We were walking past and we could see smoke coming out the window of this flat.
‘I phoned 999 and Harriot kicked the door down and we managed to get him out safely. It was filled with smoke. We had to help him down the stairs.
‘He was an elderly gentleman and he went to hospital – we don’t know how long he was in the smoke for.’
He told his rescuers he believed there was a seven-year-old girl trapped inside, which prompted Harriot to dash back inside.
She said: ‘I just ran straight up the stairs to the right where the rooms were.
I’m shouting for this person but I had to come back down because I couldn’t hear anything.
‘My arms started burning, it was full of smoke. You couldn’t even see the flames.
‘It was instinct – regardless of the age that person was. I think my adrenaline just kicked in. He said there may be a child in the flat – I thought, if I had a sister or if that was my little brother.’
The bride-to-be, who waited for the fire brigade with the man, praised her friend’s bravery.
Ben Wright, 24, who lives at the opposite end of the estate, woke up at around 3.30am because of flashing blue lights which he had initially thought was a thunderstorm.
He said: ‘The were police cars, fire engines and paramedics everywhere.
Apparently two girls were walking back from the pub and noticed smoke. I heard one of them was wearing a veil, I think they were on a hen party or something’.
Stefan Rider, from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: ‘These women saved his life. If they hadn’t stepped in this story could have had a tragic ending.
‘They deserve recognition for their bravery and everyone is thankful for their actions.’