Firefighter on Spanish holiday dashes to save dozens from flats fire
By Sutton Coldfield Observer | Friday, August 10, 2012, 09:20
A SUTTON firefighter risked his life to rescue people in a burning apartment block while on holiday in Majorca.
Sutton firefighter Paul McCarron rescued residents from a blazing apartment block while on holiday in Majorca last week.
Paul McCarron, a Blue Watch firefighter at Sutton Fire Station in Lichfield Road, ran into a eight-storey building, with friend Richard Ross and helped save residents.
The incident took place last Thursday (August 2) while Paul was on holiday with his wife Selena, their son Harry, Selena's mum and dad, Sutton electrician Richard and his pregnant fiancée, Margaret and Paul's mum Eunice Whyley.
Paul and his family were taking a late-night dip in the Can Pastilla resort, near Palma, when his wife, Selena, noticed an apartment building was on fire.
Paul and his friend Richard dashed out of the sea and into the building to help residents get out.
Paul said: "On the top floor where the fire was, the smoke was really thick, down to just a couple of feet off the ground, so I had to crawl.
"I found an elderly couple and got them out, then began searching the flats on the top floor. The door of the apartment which was on fire was open, so I guessed that the residents were either out, or had managed to escape.
"I couldn't get too close because the flames were really hot and the smoke getting thicker and thicker. We were in pitch darkness apart from the fire. The electricity supply had been knocked out.
"When I thought it was clear, I heard a woman screaming. I managed to get her out and down the stairs just as the local firefighters arrived."
As well as rescuing one woman from the top floor, Paul led 18 couples to safety.
Paul's mum Eunice said: "I was so proud of Paul and Richard. They had no shirts on and Paul grabbed a T-shirt so he could protect himself from the smoke.
"We go to the same resort every year as we have got friends there and although my son has been a firefighter for 15 years I have never seen him do anything like that."
Eunice said her son was proud to be a firefighter and was late to the profession, joining as a 28-year-old, having previously managed Flints in Mere Green.
"My son adores his job and always wanted to help people," the 68-year-old who used to live in Bedford Road but has now moved to Brownhills said. "Knowing my son, I knew he would be gone as soon as he realised there was a fire. When he came back he was covered in soot and ash.
"He's a wonderful guy and very level headed. Once the firemen were there they were going up to the landing and he was coming down with an older woman he rescued."
Phil Loach, Assistant Chief Fire Officer with West Midlands Fire Service said: "Although members of the public should never return to a burning building, we recognise that Paul has done a fantastic job, using the skills that he has in difficult and unusual circumstances, to save many lives. Everyone at West Midlands Fire Service is very proud of him."