Posted by Editor on 23rd June 2012 at 11:59 AM
Lifesaver Amy warns children not to play with matches
An eight-year-old girl from Salford who saved her family and friends from a house fire is warning children to never play with matches.
Amy O’Toole alerted 18 people - including her parents and 10 brothers and sisters - to a blaze after smelling smoke coming from an upstairs bedroom at her home.
Amy said: “I could smell smoke and when I went into the room I could see there was some bedding on fire. I shouted for my mum as loud as I could and told everyone to get out of the house.
“I knew what to do and I’m going to tell all my friends that playing with matches is really dangerous and you shouldn’t do it.”
Now Amy has been awarded a certificate of bravery by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) after visiting Agecroft Fire Station with the rest of her family.
Amy’s mum, 34-year-old Michelle Leech said: “We’re all so proud of Amy and it was great for all the kids to come to the fire station and learn from the firefighters about the dangers of playing with matches.
“They really enjoyed looking at the fire engines and they are all going to tell their friends at school that you shouldn’t play with matches, lighters or any kind of fire because it is naughty and very dangerous.”
Firefighters from Agecroft, Farnworth and Eccles fire stations were called to the house in Coniston Road in Swinton at 14.57pm on Sunday, May 27, 2012.
By the time they arrived everyone was out of the house thanks to Amy, but mum Michelle and Amy’s four-year-old brother Sean Junior were both taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.
Amy said: “I am happy everyone is okay now but everyone needs to know not to play with matches because it could have been different.”
Michelle added: “All the children have really benefited from the visit to the fire station and since the fire I can tell the younger ones know not to play with fire.
“We used to talk about it but this has changed things and they’ve all learnt more about it and Sean even backs away when he sees me light the oven now.”
GMFRS has been developing extensive school education resources to make children of all ages aware of fire safety.
As part of this, GMFRS’ Children and Young People department is preparing to launch its new FireSmart programme.
This is a free, confidential service which will see trained staff working with young people in their own homes from an early stage to raise awareness of the dangers fire setting.
Kathryn Aylett from GMFRS’ Children and Young People department said: “It’s difficult to get across to a young person the consequences of their actions and how serious they can be.
“We’re developing FireSmart to work with young people aged 17 or younger to reduce the risk of harm through active discussion about the dangers of fire.”
For further information on FireSmart, click here
If you are concerned about a child or young person who is involved in fire setting behaviour, please contact GMFRS on 0800 555 815.
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