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Editor drags unconscious man from blaze

The editor of a weekly newspaper found himself in the news when he rescued a man from a fire.

Lawrence Matheson, editor of the South Manchester Reporter, dragged a 60-year-old man out of a ground-floor bedroom after flames took hold in his flat in Chorlton, Manchester.

He came to the man’s rescue after he heard a smoke alarm.

The man was taken to Wythenshawe Hospital for treatment to burns to his arms and legs and smoke inhalation.

Lawrence, (40), also had to be given first-aid by firefighters but declined hospital treatment.

Three fire crews from Moss Side and Withington were at the scene and took half-an-hour to bring the fire under control.

Lawrence said: “It was a pretty grim scene when I went into his flat. I couldn’t see anything. The flat was full of smoke.

“I rushed into his bedroom, but I couldn’t even see the victim. Then I looked on the floor and there was the body of this naked man lying there unconscious. I didn’t know if he was alive or dead. I tried to lift him, but he was too heavy.

“I rushed outside for a few seconds to catch my breath. Then I put a jacket over my head went back in and dragged him out.”

A fire service spokesman said the blaze was caused by carelessly-discarded smoking materials.

Lawrence said: “We covered the story in our paper although I decided not to identify myself. We did about three or four paragraphs on it.

“If it had been someone else I probably would have splashed it on the front page with a picture.

“But I do all the layout for the paper and I didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of making myself out to be some sort of hero.” Do you have a story about the regional press?
Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or e-mail
patrick.astill@and.co.uk