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Fire hero Ryan Smith from Gillingham up for award after he ran into a burning building to warn the occupants to get out

A brave teenager who ran into a burning building to warn the occupants to get out is the first teenager to be nominated for this year’s Pride in Medway Awards.

Sixteen-year-old Ryan Smith has already been praised by firefighters for his quick-thinking. He dialled 999 before dashing inside to raise the alarm.

Ryan, an Air Cadet with the 1039 Gillingham Squadron, was on his way to buy new parade shoes when he spotted smoke billowing from a ground-floor window of a three-storey building in Rock Avenue, Gillingham.

Ryan Smith, 16, from Gillingham.
Ryan Smith, 16, from Gillingham.

A fire had broken out in the kitchen after a pan of hot oil which had been left unattended on the hob caught fire. Flames spread to an overhead extractor unit.

Shaun Humphries, a crew manager at Medway Fire Station, nominated Ryan for the award in the Young Hero category.

Mr Humphries said: “Ryan was just passing the house when he heard the smoke alarms sounding and spotted smoking billowing out of the ground floor kitchen window and immediately phoned 999.

Ryan Smith, 16, with members of Red Watch at Medway Fire Station
Ryan Smith, 16, with members of Red Watch at Medway Fire Station

“Without thinking about his own safety, he went into the house, made sure that everyone got out safely, and then closed the kitchen door.

“He also put a duvet at the bottom of the door to stop the smoke spreading through the building and closed the internal doors on his way out.”

The incident happened at about 2pm on Saturday, June 13, and shortly after the incident, Ryan and his parents, Sarah and Neil, were invited along to Medway Fire Station as a thank-you gesture for his quick thinking.

Ryan, who wants to become part of the emergency services, will start a three-year public services course at MidKent College in Gillingham, in September, to realise his dream.


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