DOG-owner Martin Palmer has praised the quick-thinking neighbour who saved his beloved pets.
Mechanic Alan Gilmore used two extinguishers to tackle the blaze and rescue Alsatian Jessie and poodle-cross Archie from the back of Martin’s home in Oswald Street West, Castletown, yesterday morning.
Fire had broken out in the back yard of the house and spread to Alan’s premises, Castletown MOT Centre.
“The first thing we knew about it, we were just standing here chatting to a customer and he said ‘Do you realise the back of your garage is on fire?’,” said 63-year-old Alan.
“The next thing we knew, there was smoke blowing everywhere.
“I went next door to see if I could get the dogs out and put the fire out.
“It was just instinctive. If you’ve got the extinguishers there, you are going to try to do something, aren’t you?”
Alan admits he spent longer than he should have done in the yard, to the alarm of son Andrew, 24. “I didn’t just want to point the extinguishers at the fire and run out leaving them there,” he said.
“My son was shouting ‘Get yourself out of there, dad.’
“There was no way I was going to have any impact on the fire – I feel quite nervous now, thinking about what I did.”
The fire brigade pulled down part of the roof at the rear of Alan’s premises to stop the fire spreading and checked Alan’s blood pressure and oxygen levels, but he refused hospital treatment.
“Fortunately, business has been quiet today and we have been able to keep open,” he said.
Decorator Martin was on his way to work when he learned about the fire.
“I left here at 10 to 9, and by nine o’clock I was getting text messages to say the fire brigade were here,” he said. “If it had not been for Alan, the dogs would have been goners.”