Hero Paperboy Rescues Pensioner From Blazing House

14/08/2014 16:57 | Updated 20 May 2015

Paperboy hero, stock image

A modest paper boy has been praised for heroically rescuing an 87-year-old woman from her blazing home.

While he was on his Sunday early morning round, Joshua Robertson, 15, saw smoke billowing from the house in Eltham, south east London.

When he went to investigate, he saw flames had taken hold of the ground-floor kitchen but still went into the building to save the pensioner.

Joshua, who is a volunteer at Greenwich police cadets, covered his face and dragged the pensioner to safety.

He told the Evening Standard: "I realised when I was approaching there was thick black smoke coming from the window and the alarm was going off.

"I placed my hand on the back of the door to see how much heat there was coming from the home, something the cadets taught me. I rang the doorbell and she answered, but she wouldn't come out, she had become confused and wouldn't leave and was sweeping up glass from the floor.

"I ran into the house and the kitchen was up in huge flames, the table, the floor and the toaster and there was thick black smoke everywhere.

"Eventually, I managed to talk to her and encourage her to come out of the house. She'd become confused, I think because she'd lived at the house a long time, and so I had to grab her quite hard to get her out of the door. She was really shocked and distressed.

"It helped that me and her were friends because we chatted whenever I delivered the papers about the news that day or programmes on TV."

The pair were taken to hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

Joshua, a student at Saint Paul's Academy in Greenwich, was awarded an Assistant Commissioner's Commendation on Friday for his heroics in July last year.

He said: "I feel very happy and proud that I was able to help save her life. I don't think she would have left her house without my help."

Assistant Commissioner Simon Byrne told said the teenager had shown "bravery, tenacity and maturity".

Superintendent Parm Sandhu added: "He's extremely modest. We only found out about his life-saving efforts after his fellow cadets told us. Many people would have given up at the first attempt and waited for the Fire Brigade to arrive.

"However, Joshua didn't give up, and having already seen the extent of the fire, he rushed into the house and undoubtedly saved the lady's life."


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