Heroic duo save 11 people from fire

John Carvahlo and Dawid Skowyra, who's actions saved 10 people from a burning building in Longton Gr

John Carvahlo and Dawid Skowyra, who's actions saved 10 people from a burning building in Longton Grove Road. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

Two men saved the lives of 11 people who were asleep inside a burning building in Weston.

John Carvahlo and his friend Dawid Skowyra were walking home along Bristol Road Lower at 2am on Monday when they heard glass breaking and saw flames coming from some flats.

The quick-thinking duo called 999 and banged on the front door to wake up those sleeping inside.

John, aged 37, from Longton Grove Road, said: “I was walking back to my house when we saw the fire.

“I heard some glass breaking and looked up to see flames.

“I knew people were in there so I called 999. I then knocked on the doors to get everyone out.

“Some of them came out all black from the smoke – you couldn’t see the colour of their skin.

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“The skin from another man’s hand had also been burnt off.

“I was panicking because I had to wake everyone up.

“I stayed outside to help until the last fire engine left.”

Two people were taken to hospital after suffering from smoke inhalation and burns but thanks to the actions of John and Dawid, everyone managed to escape the building.

John’s sister-in-law Sharon Harrison said: “I’m very proud of him.

“It gives me goosebumps to think of the lives he’s saved.

“If they hadn’t seen it someone could have come out in a box.

“There’s so much devastation at the moment, it’s nice to have good news of lives being saved.”

The fire broke out on the first floor of the three-storey building and three crews from Weston attended.

The firefighters used two hose reels to put out the blaze, which is believed to have been started accidentally.

A spokesman from Avon Fire and Rescue Service said: “In the event of the fire, it is crucial members of the public get out, stay out, and call 999.

“Safety for members of the public is crucial and we would never recommend people attempt to tackle the fire themselves.

“Situations can change rapidly and crews will deal with the incident on arrival.

“If you are able to alert residents to a fire so they can evacuate in a timely manner, without putting yourself in danger, this can help save lives.

“Never enter a burning building or stand in smoke, but alert residents by banging or shouting so they are aware of any potential danger and call 999.”