Father-of-two Liam Potter, 25, charged into a burning building to save a woman trapped inside following an explosion in Gosport, Hampshire
A father of two charged into a burning building to save a woman trapped inside following an explosion.
Brave Liam Potter, 25, helped kick in a window and twice braved the flames to carry the unconscious woman, 33, to safety in Gosport, Hampshire following an explosion.
Mr Potter – who rescued the woman at his second attempt after being beaten back by an explosion – endured severe cuts to his hands to carry out the rescue.
Residents say that without his actions, the woman would have died.
Mr Potter was with his girlfriend at home on Monday night when they heard heard an explosion.
They looked out of their bedroom window to see smoke coming from a nearby block of flats.
Realising there was a fire, Mr Potter went to be ‘nosey’ – but wound up being a hero as he climbed into a burning ground floor flat to save a woman trapped inside.
Mr Potter – who rescued the woman at his second attempt after being beaten back by an explosion – endured severe cuts to his hands to carry out the rescue. Pictured: The aftermath of the blaze
The boat builder, who works at LP Marine Services, said: ‘I went to have a nosey of the fire.
‘There was loads of screaming and panicking.
‘There was no fire brigade and everyone was panicking, but I came to have a look – I never expected to do anything.’
Residents say that without his actions, the woman would have died. Pictured: The aftermath of the blaze
Residents helped smash the glass of the ground floor flat’s window and Mr Potter asked two other residents to support him so he could ‘boot’ the frame in and enter the flat.
But the fire made it impossible for Mr Potter to find anyone and he had to jump out of the window after hearing a second explosion.
Despite this, he went back in to find the woman.
He said: ‘It was horrible – it was full of black, black smoke, and popping and crackling.
‘Everything was flaming and crackling.’
Having to carry the unconscious woman unaided, Mr Potter was desperate for her to wake up.
He said: ‘She was unconscious, but I was screaming at her.’
The woman was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth to be treated for her injuries. Three other patients were treated at Gosport War Memorial Hospital for minor injuries.
Mr Potter was with his girlfriend at home on Monday night when they heard heard an explosion. Pictured: The property after the fire
Mr Potter required 10 stitches in his left hand and several stitches in his right leg as he suffered cuts whilst climbing through the broken window.
The dad of 18-month-old twins said he ‘didn’t know why’ he braved the blaze – but kept imagining how he hoped other people would react if his children were trapped in a burning building.
He said: ‘I didn’t think anything of it until I got home after getting my hand stitched. I thought – ‘I could have died’.
‘The more I think about it, the more I think I was an idiot.
‘But my girlfriend said if I hadn’t done that, the woman would be dead.’
Christmas preparations in his home have carried on regardless of his heroics, according to the lifesaver.
Realising there was a fire, Mr Potter went to be ‘nosey’ – but wound up being a hero as he climbed into a burning ground floor flat to save a woman trapped inside. Pictured: Fire damage from the blaze
He joked: ‘I haven’t got out of the cleaning today, which I’m not happy about.’
A resident of the Grade II listed building and friend of the injured woman said Mr Potter and the two men who helped him were ‘phenomenal.’
She said: ‘She would not be alive if it were not for them.’
More than 30 firefighters were among those called out to deal with the blaze in the ground-floor flat.
Detective Sergeant Mark Alleman from Hampshire Constabulary said the cause of the fire is still unknown.
He said: ‘We are keeping an open mind. All lines of enquiry will be investigated.’
Mr Potter said he hopes to find out the injured woman’s condition soon and hopes the block’s residents can still have a merry Christmas.
He said: ‘Look after yourselves and each other – and don’t go running into burning buildings.’