A 61-YEAR-OLD Craigavon man is being treated for severe burns in Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital after a fire broke out at his home in Ardowen.
Michael Robinson is also suffered smoke inhalation and is still thought to be in a critical condition, while his wife Rosena (60) was treated for less serious injuries.
The blaze, which may have been started as a result of an electrical fault, broke out shortly after 1.30am last Thursday (February 16).
Mrs Robinson was in bed at the time and immediately rushed to get her grandaughter, who was staying overnight, out of the building.
Sinn Fein councillor Tommy O’Connor, who is a family friend, explained what happened next.
He said: “Despite the intensity of the fire and the thick smoke she re-entered the house to rescue her husband who had succumbed to the heavy smoke but was unable to lift him.
“She contacted her son Jim who lives close by and he crawled into the house on his hands and knees but was beaten back by the intense heat.
“Jim then soaked a heavy coat in water and used it as a shield against the flames when he re-entered the house and on the second attempt he was successful in rescuing his father Michael.
“The ambulance service which had already arrived on the scene treated the injured man at the scene before taking him and his wife to Craigavon hospital.
“Mr Robinson was later transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital where he is in intensive care receiving treatment for severe burns and smoke inhalation.
“Rosena was also treated for smoke inhalation but has now been released.”
He continued: “I would not recommend anyone entering a burning building.
“It’s better to wait on the experts who are trained and equipped to deal with these situations but the actions of Mr Robinson’s son Jim are completely understandable in the circumstances and his undoubted courage has to be acknowledged.
“Jim not only showed amazing courage but he also exercised a high level of common sense when under extreme pressure by retreating when the fire was too intense and taking sensible precautions before re-entering the house and bringing his unconscious father out to safety.”
Cllr O’Connor described Rosena and Jim as “heroes” for their actions on the night.
He also praised the emergency service who attended the scene.
“The speed at which the Emergency services arrived on the scene was second to none and the expertise and professionalism that both the Ambulance and Fire Brigade personnel exhibited in carrying out their duties was exemplary,” he said.
“I would take this opportunity to publicly thank them on behalf of the Robinson family and on my own behalf.”