Heroic firefighters honoured for their life-saving actions during house fire in south Warwickshire

They not only put out the fire but also gave CPR to the occupant

Fire Station Manager Dave Edge (right), with Crew Manager Daniel Evans – having both been awarded their 20 years’ service medals – joined by Phillipa Blair (centre) who was presented with the Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation. (photo from Oxfordshire County Council)
Fire Station Manager Dave Edge (right), with Crew Manager Daniel Evans – having both been awarded their 20 years’ service medals – joined by Phillipa Blair (centre) who was presented with the Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation. (photo from Oxfordshire County Council)

Heroic firefighters have been honoured for their life-saving actions during a house fire in south Warwickshire.

The two Oxfordshire crews joined colleagues from Warwickshire to help put out the house fire at Winchcombe Farm in Upper Tysoe in January this year.

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And on top of that, they carried out emergency first aid on the occupant who had collapsed.

Steve Taylor presented Pip Blair with a bouquet during an emotional reunion at Winchcombe Farm, a holiday retreat he runs with his wife Jo Carroll, in Upper Tysoe.

The fire crews have now received a certificate of commendation for their prompt actions.

The occupants were alerted to the blaze by their smoke alarm sounding. Smoke was billowing out of one of the light fittings in the lounge and the couple thought initially it was an electrical fire.

They immediately called 999 and evacuated the property, but on leaving the building they saw the roof was on fire. The owner, Steve Taylor, started to tackle the fire with extinguishers, then suffered a cardiac arrest.

When the crews arrived, they not only had to tackle the fire, but Hook Norton and Banbury firefighters undertook CPR in front of shocked family members and onlookers.

As we reported at the time, the crews worked tirelessly to stabilise the stricken individual while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. They administered lifesaving CPR for more than 20 minutes, most likely saving the individual’s life.

Back in March, Steve presented Pip Blair, the firefighter who saved his life, with a bouquet during an emotional reunion at Winchcombe Farm, a holiday retreat he runs with his wife Jo Carroll.

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Steve, who has suffered two previous heart attacks, is now continuing his recovery at home after undergoing a triple heart bypass at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. He has also had a defibrillator fitted in his heart.

Rob MacDougall, Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, said: “This is an outstanding example of where quick decision making and teamwork has undoubtedly saved a man’s life. It demonstrates the importance of our firefighters having the right skills to provide emergency medical care, and also their ability to react to the situation in front of them. The crews thoroughly deserve this additional recognition for their actions on that day.”

The awards were given out at special ceremony at Blenheim Palace for firefighters in Oxfordshire.