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'I'm no hero,' says rescuer commended for saving life
IF IT were not for the bravery of two Littlemore men, a woman would have died in a fire and a toddler would have fallen from a hotel rooftop, according to Oxfordshire’s fire chief.
Mick Boswell, 50, and Preston Likely, 42, have been given the highest award the fire service can bestow, the Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation.
They received the awards on Thursday for selfless courage.
Mr Boswell, a painter and decorator, was watching TV at home with his partner in November last year when he heard banging and cries for help from next door.
He rushed to help and, as smoke and flames billowed from the building, tried to kick in the door – but it would not budge. Mr Boswell instead grabbed a hammer and smashed in the glass of the door, before pulling the young woman to safety.
After receiving the award, he said: “I do not know how I feel – it is a bit weird to be honest.
“I did not think about it a lot, I just thought that it was best to get her out.”
“To be honest, the bravery award should have gone to her. She did not panic and she did the right thing.”
Mr Boswell said the award would have pride of place in his house, next to a framed story from the Oxford Mail about the incident.
In May, Mr Likely was at the Tree Hotel in Iffley when he saw a crowd gathering and noticed a two-year-old had managed to climb a ladder onto the roof.
The author and artist pulled himself up a drainpipe and managed to reach the child and hold on to him until firefighters arrived.
Mr Likely said: “I do not know what ‘hero’ feels like. I am just pleased the child is safe and that everything turned out positively.
“For me it was not like jumping into a river and pulling someone out. I would consider that going above and beyond, but because I am not scared of heights I did not see it as bravery, I just thought ‘I can do this’.”
The awards were given at the fire service’s annual achievement evening, which also recognised firefighters for long service, exam success and sporting achievement.
Chief Fire Officer David Etheridge said the actions of Mr Boswell and Mr Likely renewed his faith in mankind. He said: “The criteria I set is that without their actions would a life have been lost, and certainly on both these occasions the answer is yes.”
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