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LITTLE HERO…QUICK-THINKING YOUNGSTER PRAISE FOR SAVING BROTHER AND MOTHER.
22nd APRIL 2004

Mark Thomas enjoying
FUTURE FIREFIGHTER…Eight-year-old Mark Thomas is praised by Ammanford firefighters for his quick thinking and the courage he showed when rescuing his brother Adam.
(L to R)
Eleanor Thomas, community fire safety officer, Firefighters Paul Tancock and Clive Hanner, who is holding four-year-old Adam, Mum Catrin Thomas, Firefighter Emyr Jones, and station commander Jeff Jones.

BOY, 8, RESCUED MUM FROM FIRE

PHOTO: GUARDIAN
STORY: EMMA EVANS
emma.evans@gwent-wales.co.u

QUICK-THINKING Ammanford hero Mark Thomas saved his little brother and mother from a fire – and he is just eight years old!

Schoolboy Mark leapt into action when mum Catrin Thomas set fire to the family home while cooking a pork roast.

Mark, remembering the most important lesson in his family's life, walked four-year-old Adam away from the blaze to safety outside their home.

Then, fearing for his mother's life, he returned to the house and shouted at his mother to get off the phone and leave the building right away.

Mark told the Guardian: “I remember the stuff we were taught in school by the fire brigade, I knew we had to get out of the house.
“I dragged Adam out and then was really worried about my mother, so I ran back to the house to get her. I told my mother to phone the fire brigade from our neighbours' house.”

Mum Catrin, aged 30, wept this week when she recalled her son's bravery.

The fire started at around 9pm on Easter Saturday, when Catrin was cooking a pork roast. She said: I was cooking a pork joint and noticed that it was smoking, I phoned Tracy, my husband, to tell him that the meat had burnt and I wanted him to pick up a take-away.

“H e told me to cover it and cook it slowly in the oven, but as I opened the door flames tore out of it.

“I was trapped between the door and the flames coming from the fire when I saw Mark grab Adam and drag him out of the house to a neighbours home. I was really worried about the children so I wet down the walls with a tea-towel and ran out of the kitchen.”

Mrs. Thomas said she panicked when she escaped the fire and phoned her sister.

“I don't know what came over me,” she said. “I phoned my sister and she told me to phone the fire brigade, which with hindsight I should have done first.

“Mark had run back over from our neighbours' house and was screaming at me to put the phone down and get out of the house. I am so proud of Mark for what he did.”

Mrs. Thomas added: “I am overwhelmed, he was fantastic. I can't get over how calm he was all the time. He is going to be nine on May 1 so he will be having a very special birthday this year.”

Mark said: “I am not a hero. I am just like any other normal little boy.”

Eleanor Thomas, community fire safety officer, said she was recently at Bets Primary School giving fire safety advice.

She said: “Mark's quick thinking proves that our fire safety message is reaching the children. I am really proud of Mark. He is a real hero.”

Jeff Jones, station commander at Ammanford said he was really impressed with Mark's quick thinking. “Adults tend to think too much – with Mark his reactions were automatic. It shows our fire safety programme is working.”

 
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