A FORMER Worcester City star was the hero after he pulled a man from a burning building moments before he was going to jump from a first floor window.
Football player turned window cleaner Darren Bullock climbed his ladder to pull the man to safety as the blaze raged in the house at the junction of Sebright Avenue and London Road.
The man was one of three people from the house treated for smoke inhalation but, if it hadn’t been for Mr Bullock, it could have been worse.
The former midfield enforcer, who played for Malvern Town and Worcester City in the late 80s and early 90s, before later playing for Huddersfield and Swindon Town, spotted the smoke billowing from the house as he went to collect the ladders he uses for his window cleaning.
He said: “I was walking up London Road towards the Sebright Arms and I saw smoke billowing out of the chimney. I got by it and there was smoke everywhere.
“I went round the side of the house. There was a lad I know who was in the top window and the smoke was billowing out.
“I ran over the road to get my ladder and I put it up and got up and grabbed him and pulled him down.
“He was struggling for breath because the smoke was really bad. I was only up there for five or 10 seconds and the smoke was horrible. He was trying to get out and said he was going to jump. If he had jumped he might have broken his leg.
“The good thing is everybody got out.”
The man was one of eight people living in the house.
Other eyewitnesses reported seeing the smoke streaming from the chimney and windows.
Brian Salisbury, aged 61, lives in the house but was next door at the Odds & Sods second-hand shop, where he works part time.
He said: “I noticed the smoke at about 9am and came outside to make sure everyone was out. There was two lads here with ladders trying to get someone out of the window.
“I think my room has had it. The guy was in the flat when it went up. He doesn’t know what happened.”
Another resident, Michael Mountford, 71, wasn’t in when the fire started.
He said: “I have lived here for about 37 years. All my clothes were in there. It is sad. If I’d been here it might not have happened.”
This is the second major fire in the area in the last few months. A fire wrecked the Seacrest Fish Bar across the road last September.
Mark Fletcher runs the post office just a few doors down from the chip shop.
He said: “If it had been a couple of hours earlier when people were asleep it could have been a lot different.
Something needs to be done to the area, we could do without these fires.”
Four fire engines tackled the blaze, three from Worcester and another from Malvern.
Emergency services shut both roads for about, an hour causing minor tailbacks in the city.
Watch commander Adrian Farmer was the first on the scene. He said Red Watch was called to reports of smoke from a resident of London Road.
He said: “We were initially faced with access issues due to parked cars. This delayed us for a few minutes. We proceeded on foot and as we turned the corner we saw one person being rescued for the upper floor by members of the public and there were two further people in the property.
"It was a fully developed fire. I was told there were two people still missing so two breathing apparatus crews searched the upstairs, downstairs and attic room. Everybody has been accounted for.
“I would like to praise my crews for their hard work, we were faced with a very difficult, hot fire. You couldn’t see your hand in front of your face.
“I would also thank the members of the public for their actions. Although we don’t encourage people to enter properties they did a good job of rescuing one person before we got there.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation but fire crews confirmed the building had an alarm system.