HEROIC neighbours fought flames and thick acrid smoke in a bid to save a man who was trapped in a house fire.

The blaze – in which the occupant sustained serious burns – broke out in Cunningham Avenue, Wrexham, at about 6.30pm on Tuesday.

Neighbour Miley Berry spotted the fire and quickly rounded up people to try to mount a rescue.

“I was near the back and noticed some smoke coming from the house, so went to take a closer look,” said Mr Berry.

To his horror he saw a large fire had broken out. He raised the alarm and then with friends and family tried to save the trapped man, who has been named locally as Paul Valentine.

“We could hear him calling for help. We did the very best we could to get him out.
We smashed windows trying to reach him, I could hear tapping on the window. It was terrible. Everything was totally black because of the thick smoke. Then the fire service came.”

Among the people who joined Mr Berry in the rescue attempt were Philip Berry, Eileen Maloney, Stephanie Stubbs, Sarah Sims and Charlene Rocky.

At one stage the rescuers feared there could also be a child in the house but that wasn’t the case.

A spokesman for North Wales Police said three fire engines attended the incident.

The occupant was rescued and taken to hospital with serious burns.

A fire service spokesman said the cause of the fire was currently being investigated.

About an hour later, firefighters were called to reports of a fire in the Caia Park area of Wrexham.

A blaze broke out at a flat in Trevenna Way. The occupant Brian Price believes he might not have turned the cooker off properly when he last used it on Sunday.

“I must not have turned it off properly then,” he said. “On Tuesday evening I wasn’t feeling well and went to bed. Then the smoke alarm went off.

“I got up and went to see what had caused it. Fortunately there wasn’t any smoke or fire damage caused. A neighbour heard the alarm go off and phoned the fire brigade to alert them.

“I was asked about having a medical checkover but I didn’t need one,” said Mr Price.