WATCH: Burns victim wins ‘hero’ award

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BURNS victim Connor Rowntree has won another top honour for his work in educating children about the dangers of dabbling with fire.

The 20-year-old, from Houghton, has been named Family Hero of the Year for the North East at 4Children and Take a Break Family Heroes Awards, at a glitzy ceremony at Plaisterer’s Hall, in London.

The awards ceremony, now in its fourth year, celebrates inspirational people in all parts of the country, and are nominated by the families they have supported.

Connor was just 15 when a game with aerosols went badly wrong, resulting in a fire at his friend’s house, which left him with devastating and life-threatening injuries.

The Houghton Kepier School pupil suffered 90 per cent burns and spent 11 months in the RVI Burns Unit in Newcastle, undergoing more than 100 medical procedures, including skin grafts.

He almost died on six separate occasions.

However, since recovering from the horrific ordeal, Connor has travelled the country talking to children of all ages about the dangers of playing with fire, by telling his story and showing them the consequences.

As part of the Connor Rowntree Project, he has also made an educational video with the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS).

Connor has already been recognised for his work after winning a Radio One Teen Hero Award, which he was presented with by pop star Katy Perry.

As well as that accolade, he has also won Pride of Wearside and Wellchild honours.

Speaking about his latest achievement, Connor said: “I was over the moon to receive the North East Family Hero Award and had a wonderful night in London, where I met some amazing inspirational people from all over the UK.

“The fantastic work that Tyne and Wear Fire Service and The RVI Burns Unit is what motivates me to do what I do, along with the support from my family and friends.”

Julie Moon, crew manager at Washington Fire Station, who nominated Connor, said: “He is an extraordinary and inspirational young man, who has battled against the odds and is a true survivor in every sense.

“Unselfishly, he has put his suffering to one side to help Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service to warn other youngsters not to mess with fire.”