The owner of a fish and chip shop in Daventry has told how he raced to help a man trapped in a burning building.
Mario Forgione was working in the kitchen at Michael’s Golden Chippy, on the Headlands in town, when the fire broke out in a building opposite in Chantelle Court at about 7.20pm on Thursday last week.
He said: “My children – Aaliyah and Enzo – came up to see me at work and get a bag of chips, and they said they’d seen smoke coming from the building opposite and a man trying to open the upstairs window and calling for help.
“I just ran straight outside and other the road.
“There were a few people standing outside. A woman had tried to go in, but I think the smoke was too much for her.
“The front door was unlocked, so I went inside. It’s a small house with the bedroom and bathroom upstairs.
“I raced up the stairs and the fire was at the top.
“I could see a pile of something burning. The flames were burning quite fiercely at the top of the stairs. There was thick smoke.
“John – who is a customer as well – was on the other side of the room near the window, beyond the fire.
“I shouted to John to keep his head out the window, otherwise he’d be breathing in the smoke.
“I ran down to the kitchen and filled two pots with water and ran up the stairs to tip them on the fire, but it made no difference.
“A man ran over from the shop and I called out for them to bring a fire extinguisher.
“They brought that and I used it to put the fire out.
“I called out to John, asking if there were any other fires in the room – you couldn’t see anything.
“I grabbed a piece of cloth off the floor and put it over my mouth, and walked into the smoke. I reached John at the window and pulled on his arm to get him to follow me out.
“I took him outside and the fire brigade turned up and took over.
“They treated him I think for breathing the smoke.
“They asked me if I was okay, I said yes, and after making sure John was okay I came back to the chippy and started working again!
“I went to bed that night and started thinking about it and I couldn’t quite believe it had happened.”
Following on from last Thursday’s incident, Mario has seen a steady stream of customers, friends, family and strangers praising his bravery.
He said: “I’ve had customers talking to me, people messaging me online, all sorts. And not just from around here, it’s the whole of Daventry.
“I didn’t think about that when I was running in the building.
“I just hope others would do the same for me!”