National recognition for brave Billy in the form of bronze medal

A hero pensioner who rescued his 90-year-old neighbour from a house fire has now received a national award.

Friday, 23rd August 2019, 15:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 08:44 am
From left, Coun John Riddle, Billy Richardson and Paul Hedley.

Billy Richardson could see the blaze at the property, close to his bungalow in the Isabella area of Blyth, on an evening in January this year.

The 75-year-old, who has four daughters and four grandchildren, previously told the Leader that he put his shirt on his head and entered the home and was met with a “wall of smoke”. The fire was coming from a chip pan.

He added: “I had to come out twice as I needed more air, but going in for the third time was when I reached Alan on the floor just outside the kitchen.

“I got him to the door, just as the fire service arrived."

Billy was given a commendation award from Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service and the service nominated him for an accolade from The Society for the Protection of Life from Fire (SPLF).

The SPLF awarded him a bronze medal and the Northumberland service handed this to Billy at a ceremony last week.

He has kept in touch with the family of Alan, who died of an illness earlier this summer, and showed them the medal the day after the ceremony.

Billy added he was proud to receive an award from a national organisation.

Chief fire officer Paul Hedley said: "I'm absolutely delighted to see Billy receive a national award for his outstanding bravery.

"He is a true community hero."