Meet the quick-thinking off-duty firefighters who tackled house blaze with buckets of water and garden hose

Two off-duty firefighters have been praised for their quick thinking after using a bucket and a garden hose to tackle a Sunderland house fire.

Tuesday, 17th September 2019, 7:40 am
Chris Bewick with grandson Theo.

Chris Bewick and Nathan Gray were at a neighbouring house in Clovelly Road, Hylton Castle, when the fire broke out aft the rear of the property.

“We were just up the street and I said I could hear a smoke alarm going off,” said Chris, who is based at North Moor Fire Station at Farringdon.

Nathan Gray

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Nathan said he couldn’t hear anything, so we had a look round. We could see think black smoke coming from the back of the corner house.”

The front door of the house was open, so while Nathan, who is based at Washington fire station, went upstairs to make sure no-one was trapped, Chris went through to the back.

“Nathan was halfway up the stairs when I went in, so I made my way through to see where the fire was,” said Chris.

“The rear of the house was on fire. It was coming from all the soil pipes.

Chris Bewick with grandson Theo

“I was shouting to the guy who was in the house, asking if he had a hose pipe. I started filling buckets of water and throwing it over the pipes that were on fire.

“We got control of the fire and in the meantime, the neighbour passed her hose over the fence, so we just damped everything down to make sure it was out completely.”

North Moor Station Manager Kevin Burns praised Chris and Nathan for their quick response: “These two firefighters were in the right place at the right time and without their swift action and professional skills, this incident could have been much worse,” he said.

“When they realised what was happening, their training kicked in and they quickly and calmly assessed the situation before using the resources available to them.


“In doing so, they demonstrated their commitment to protecting our community at all times.

“Both Chris and Nathan are a credit to our service.”