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Gillingham man who pulled woman from fire in Byron Road says he 'isn't a hero'

A man who pulled a woman from a raging bedroom fire says he isn't a hero.

Francisco Leite dragged the unconscious tenant from the property he shares with her and others in Byron Road, Gillingham.

The burnt out bedroom at the property in Byron Road, Gillingham
The burnt out bedroom at the property in Byron Road, Gillingham

At around 7pm on July 1, the 57-year-old heard the fire alarm going off and smelt smoke coming from the woman's room.

"We heard the alarm and shouted to her, but there was no reply," he said.

"I went to check on her and she was barely moving so I had to drag her out.

"I think she fell asleep and she was next to the fire."

Mr Leite, who has been at the shared housing for five years, says it only took 10 minutes before the room was engulfed in flames.

"It was instinct, I'm not a hero, I just did what everyone should do."

He added: "I tried to do as much as I can, but I'm not a hero, I just acted as a human should.

"It was instinct, I'm not a hero, I just did what everyone should do."

Four engines and a height vehicle were sent to the scene where crews arrived to smoke coming from the top floor and roof of the building.

Firefighters wore breathing apparatus and used a hose-reel jet, high-pressure fan and water from a hydrant to put out the flames.

The woman was passed into the hands of paramedics as a precaution due to smoke inhalation.

A fire started in Byron Road, Gillingham, after a tenant fell asleep with a cigarette. Picture: Google Maps
A fire started in Byron Road, Gillingham, after a tenant fell asleep with a cigarette. Picture: Google Maps

Crews left the fire at around 8.30pm.

The landlord of the property revealed the fire had started after the woman fell asleep with a lit cigarette.

He added she "probably wouldn't have survived" without Franciscos help.

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