Fire hero saves pal
Published: December 7, 2006 | 5172nd good news item since 2003
A 13-year-old Budleigh Salterton boy has hailed his best friend a hero for saving his life after his legs caught fire.
Harry White, of Stoneborough Lane, was pushed to the ground and rolled over by 13-year-old Sam Potter, of Byron Way, Exmouth, after flames from a small fire set light to the Budleigh teenager’s trousers.
Exmouth Community College pupil Harry, who suffered second-degree burns to his legs, said he was indebted to his friend.
“I really owe my life to Sam,” said Harry, who has known his friend since the pair went to nursery school together. “He saved my life. When I saw my trousers were on fire, I started shouting ‘put it out, put it out’. I didn’t know what to do. If I had been there on my own I probably would have shrivelled up.
“When I was rolling around on the ground, I was trying to get my trousers off. I had tucked them into my socks and I couldn’t get them off. I remember looking down and seeing that my legs were on fire.”
The two friends had been playing a game of man hunt in woodland near Knappe Cross when Harry spotted a small fire and tried to stamp it out, but caught his trouser legs on fire.
Cool-headed Sam, also an Exmouth Community College pupil, saw the panic in his friend’s face and rushed to help him.
Sam, who learned his fire safety techniques when he was just four from a fire brigade visit to his nursery school, pushed his friend to the floor, rolled him over to put out the flames and patted out Harry’s smouldering trousers with his hands.
The Budleigh teenager was then drenched in water at Sam’s home before being rushed to hospital.
“Harry was panicking and ran towards me and another two friends,” said Sam. “I just shouted at him to roll, but he didn’t understand what I meant, so I pushed him to the floor and rolled him over in the wet grass.”
Harry’s parents, Sarah, 40, and Mark, 45, said the whole family considered Sam a hero. And Sam’s parents, Diana, 44, and Nick, 45, said they were ‘proud’ of their son.