Two men have won an award for saving an elderly woman from a house fire in Sunderland. 

Security supervisor Alfredo (Alfie) Romero was giving his colleague Chris Ward a lift home after a night shift when they noticed the blaze. 

At around 5.30 am on March 15th, Alfredo was about to drop Chris off at his home in Horatio Street, in Roker, when the men saw flames coming from a chimney on the corner of Horatio Street and Cooper Street. 

Worried someone might be inside the next-door house, the two banged on the door. Upstairs, Mavis Steele, 71, was sleeping soundly. Chris and Alfredo woke Mrs Steele up and called the fire brigade. Mrs Steele was later treated for smoke inhalation.

Heroes Win Award after Saving Sunderland Woman from Blaze
Over half those who die in house fires are over 65

Now Chris and Alfredo’s employer, ISS Security Services, has presented the two men with a GEM award. 

Alfie, from South Shields, said, “The award stands for Going the Extra Mile. It’s an award from our company as they heard about what we did and were proud of us.”

“At the end of the day, the fire brigade are the real heroes as they are the ones that go into burning buildings. But without our quick reaction, God knows what would have happened.”

“Her family have thanked us and it’s great to know that we have saved someone’s life. Our families are very proud of us both.” 

Alfie and Chris were presented with the GEM award by their managers in a ceremony at their office.

In 2015/16 in the UK, fire and rescue services attended 162,000 fire incidents. 303 people died in fires and 7,661 people were hurt or injured. 52% of those who died in house fires were over 65-years-old and smoke inhalation was the most common cause of fire-related death.

The most common cause of house fires is cooking equipment.


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