"I'm no hero": Quick-thinking paperboy saves Coventry pensioner's life - The Coventry Observer

8th Aug, 2022

"I'm no hero": Quick-thinking paperboy saves Coventry pensioner's life

Coventry Editorial 22nd Feb, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

“I’M no hero, not by a long shot.” Those are the words of a quick-thinking paperboy who saved a Coventry pensioner’s life.

Harry Packer was on his paper round on April 5 last year when he heard cries for help coming from a house on Gretna Road in Finham.

“I was sitting on my bike across the street from the house when I heard a faint but constant bleeping noise,” said Harry who is also from the Finham area.

“Moments later, a lady was frantically calling for my help through the window at that point I realised that bleeping was a smoke alarm.”

The woman had tried to boil an electric kettle on a gas hob causing smoke to billow through her home.

In the panic, she was unable to unlock the door – resorting to pleading for help through a window instead.

The Finham Park Sixth Form student, who has been awarded a Chief Constable’s Young Person’s award for his actions, reassured the woman and ran to her neighbour’s house and got him to call the fire brigade during the 10am incident.

Minutes later crews arrived and forced their way into the house and rescued the trapped woman.

“I wasn’t halfway near as calm as I’d like to admit,” Harry added.

“When I saw the fire engine at the stop of the street I flagged it down while they did the rest. I then texted my dad to ask for a lift home.

“I’m not a hero, not by a long shot – I’ve helped somebody help someone. Having said that, I am incredibly thankful I was there.”

The senior fire-fighter at the scene told police that had the teen not intervened when he did, the woman who suffered smoke inhalation, would have died.

PC Heather Malin, one of the officers sent to close roads during the blaze, said: “It was clear that Harry was shaken by the events which had unfolded, however this did not distract him from his ability to think on his feet when he needed to.”

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