Wembdon fire hero praised

Aeron Tobin outside the fire-damaged property. Photo: Jeff Searle

Aeron Tobin outside the fire-damaged property. Photo: Jeff Searle

First published in News Bridgwater Mercury: Photograph of the Author by

A BRAVE neighbour rescued two women from a smoke-filled flat in Wembdon after bins nearby were deliberately set alight.

Two wheelie bins were set on fire at 11pm on Friday, May 30, near the junction with The Pippins and Crossacre, Wembdon, damaging the nearby flat.

Neighbour Aeron Tobin received a call for help from an elderly woman living in the property and quickly sprang into action.

He told the Mercury: “I got a phone call at 11.10pm on the Friday night. It’s an elderly person’s home and the 82-year-old lady who called me only recently lost her husband so I’d given her my number in case she needed help with anything.

“I got her out of her building but I knew there was a lady in her 60s living in the top flat.

“There was a flight of stairs in the entrance to her property and you couldn’t see in there at all because of thick smoke.

“I heard her up the stairs, found her, put her across my shoulders, grabbed her shoes and went out.”

Aeron, a chef at Pynes Of Somerset, was taken to hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

His 14-year-old daughter also helped by making tea and coffee for everyone to help them recover from the shock.

“The women were shocked and shaken, but they have thanked us for our help,” said Aeron.

Police have begun an investigation to find the person responsible for the fire.

A police spokesman said: “One bin had been put out ready for collection the next day and was next to a bin store when it was set alight.

“The fire spread to the wooden door and the heat and smoke from the fire caused damage to an adjoining flat including warped guttering, damaged fuse boxes, a cracked window and damage to roof tiles. The occupants were also left suffering from smoke inhalation.

“A second bin, opposite the first and on Crossacre, was also set alight at the same time.”

A Fire Service spokesman confirmed the incident as arson, adding: “It could have been extremely dangerous, as the source of the fire was the main exit.

“But some of the neighbours did a good job and helped the residents get out of the property.”

A Crime Scene Investigator has been to the scene and police want to hear from anyone who saw someone acting suspiciously in the area at the time or knows who is responsible.

Anyone with information should contact DC Darren Bowden on 101 and quote 54265/14.

Or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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