A man injured when he rushed into a burning building to potentially save a woman’s home says he was just doing what came naturally to him.
Edd Hankers, 25, has been branded a hero after single-handedly putting out a fire in a neighbour’s home in Middleton-on-Sea in the early hours of Saturday.
He only stopped when he heard fire engines, collapsing on the ground in agony with his lungs burning with smoke, having extinguished the blaze.
“I was just chilling out in bed as I’d not long finished work when I heard a smoke alarm,” said Edd, of Lilac Close.
“As it was about 1.30am I thought it was someone drunk who’d burnt toast, but then I heard ‘help me’ and opened my window blind and saw all this orange smoke.”
He ran straight out to retrieve a fire extinguisher from his van and rushed to the burning property.
“The fire was in the hallway and lounge...it wasn’t a huge fire but there was lots of smoke.
“I only had a small powder fire extinguisher which I didn’t think would be enough, I knew I’d get hurt going in.
“I was running in and out of the house like a lunatic, trying to get a breath of fresh air before going back in.
“The smoke was so thick I couldn’t see in front of me and the pain was unbelievable.
“Some of the neighbours were out but they were just watching me, no one else helped.”
Edd said he only stopped once the fire service arrived.
He received treatment for smoke inhalation, but despite only getting to bed around 4am, he made it to his 8am shift that morning at Westbourne Motors.
No one else is understood to have been injured.
Edd added: “The lady said thank you to me for saving her and her house.
“Everyone in the control room at work keeps joking, calling me the resident fireman. But I’d do the same again for anyone. I don’t think I’m a hero, I was just doing what I’d expect others to do if I was in the same situation.”
He puts his actions down to his time spent in the army after he had left school.