A quick-thinking shop worker helped a couple flee their top floor town centre flat where a fire had taken hold.

Staff from the Wawel convenience store on Chester Street, Flint, rushed to help the occupants of the flat above when the blaze broke out shortly after 8.15am yesterday.

The residents, a man and a woman in their 60s, were treated for smoke inhalation.

A spokesman for the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said the fire “is thought to have started in an immersion heater” and was confined to the bathroom.

The flat had no working smoke alarms and was left damaged by the smoke.

The fire service spokesman added: “The property did not have working smoke alarms, despite alarms being fitted by the fire and rescue service in the past.

“A member of staff from the shop below the flat, a man in his 20s, raised the alarm after noticing water coming through the shop ceiling.”

That hero was Aram Rashid, who said he found the man living upstairs making his way down and asking for help.

Quick-thinking Mr Rashid raced upstairs to help the woman who also lived in the flat escape the inferno, and used a foam fire extinguisher to bring the blaze under control.

He said: “The fire service were here very quickly.

“I saw the smoke and the old man coming down the stairs and he was saying “please help”, the old woman was sleeping in one of the other rooms and I knew I had to get them out of there. You have to save a human life.

“I think it was lucky it happened when it did, if it had happened at midnight they would have had no chance.

“It looks like it started in the bathroom.

“It’s the fire extinguisher that saved everyone really, it was so helpful, they are so important.”

Arez Ali, who runs the store, said the shop was relatively unscathed but there was still debris to clear up and water was leaking through the ceiling from the bathroom above.

A spokesman for North Wales Fire and Rescue said they responded with two appliances, one from Deeside and one from Flint. North Wales Ambulance Service also attended.

Kevin Roberts, senior fire safety manager at North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The couple received oxygen therapy at the scene and were extremely lucky to escape unharmed – this fire could very easily have gone unnoticed and have resulted in more serious injuries or even fatalities.

“It’s vital to be prepared should the worst happen – make sure you have a smoke alarm and do not tamper with it. If it does not work then please get in touch with us to help you address this.

“A working smoke alarm can give you the time you need to get out, stay out, and call 999.

“Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by testing your alarm regularly and by planning and practising an escape route.”

For more information and advice visit www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk