Award for Sunderland hero who rescued his neighbour from fire

David Thompson, of Craigshaw Square, Hylton Castle, Sunderland with his Bravery and Meritorious Conduct Award from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority.  He is pictured with members of Blue watch from Sunderland West fire station who nominated him after he entered a neighbours home to rescue her after a gas explosion and fire. Pictured left to right are; Chris Reah, Mick Wilson, Barry Little and Les Tough.
David Thompson, of Craigshaw Square, Hylton Castle, Sunderland with his Bravery and Meritorious Conduct Award from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority. He is pictured with members of Blue watch from Sunderland West fire station who nominated him after he entered a neighbours home to rescue her after a gas explosion and fire. Pictured left to right are; Chris Reah, Mick Wilson, Barry Little and Les Tough.
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A HERO neighbour who risked his life to rescue a pensioner from her blazing home, has received an award for his bravery.

David Thompson rushed to the aid of neighbour Mary Pells Black, 87, when she became trapped inside her Hylton Castle home.

The 42-year-old, who is married to Lisa, 38, is still struggling to deal with the fatal explosion that killed his neighbour.

“In a way I don’t really want the award,” he said. “I would rather have not gone through it.

“I didn’t think about myself at the time, it was just instinctive. I just did what I had to do.”

David, of Craigshaw Square, grabbed a garden ornament and smashed a window to get in.

He wrapped Mrs Black in a coat in a bid to put out her blazing clothes, before battling through flames and thick smoke to get her out.

David has now received Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority’s Bravery and Meritorious Conduct Award.

Councillor Bob Heron, Fire Authority chairman, said: “Without doubt, Mr Thompson placed himself at extreme risk throughout his rescue.

“It is extremely sad and unfortunate that Mrs Black later died that day from her injuries, however, Mr Thompson’s brave actions gave the family a few precious hours to share before her passing.”