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Commendation for life-saving Frome firefighter

Philip Van Gorph receives his award

Philip Van Gorph receives his award

FROME firefighter Phil Van Gorph has received a commendation after rescuing a man from a burning fire.

Phil, Frome Fire Station commander, pulled a 90-year-old man trapped by fire out of a ground floor flat at Gorehedge sheltered housing in September 2014 and saved his life.

Phil was presented with the Chief Fire Officer’s Certificate of Commendation at Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service’s Awards last week.

The report from the incident explained what happened, “On arrival the fire crew faced a rapidly-developing fire in a ground floor flat. Phil proceeded to the rear of the premises and discovered that the fire had flashed over in the bedroom of the flat. It quickly became apparent that the occupant was collapsed under the living room window (which was open) and was trapped by fire.

“Without his crew and only a fire extinguisher, Phil, together with a member of the public and at considerable risk to themselves, leant into the window and pulled the occupant out of the fire with seconds to spare.

“Although the occupant suffered smoke inhalation and burns, following transfer to Bath Hospital he subsequently made a full recovery.”

Phil said, “I was in a situation where I had to make an instant decision, it was quite nerve racking but the top priority is to get that person out alive.

“It is nice to be recognised for what I did, but I was in the right place at the right time and had any of my colleagues found themselves in the same situation they would have done exactly the same thing.”

Making the presentation was the chief fire commander for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, Lee Howell who said, “Phil was commended for his actions that day which clearly saved a life.”

Phil’s success was posted on social media site, Facebook and members of the public took the opportunity to congratulate him. Andy Newland wrote, “Well done Phil! Congratulations and well deserved recognition.”