A man armed with only a watering can and a tiny extinguisher saved his elderly neighbours’ lives after they slept through a fire at their home.
Kevin Middleton, of Flockton , was asleep with his wife Kathryn, when she heard a noise and thought it was a burglar.
But when she went to the window she saw flames bursting out of David and Marlene Coates’s detached home in the early hours of Wednesday.
Kathryn, a grandmother, said: “Fortunately I’m a very light sleeper and awoke with a start when I heard this noise which sounded like someone trying to break in.
“I lifted the curtain – our bedroom overlooks that area – and the back of the house was in flames. I shouted to my husband that their house was on fire, got in my dressing gown and dialled 999.
“I told him that I thought they were inside. Kevin came out with me. He was rattling their doors and was almost going to smash one of their windows to alert them as we couldn’t wake them.”
Kevin said: “I took a little extinguisher with me and when that ran out I used a watering can and was throwing water from the pond on. It was the roof that had caught alight.”
Kathryn added: “When they finally opened the door the smoke just billowed out and their little dog Mungo came out too and bit one of the firemen’s wellies when they arrived!
“It seems it never barked during all that time. We’ve known David and Marlene a long time and walk their dog for them every day. We said they could spend the night with us.
“They were very grateful to us. I don’t think they would ever have woken up otherwise. Despite what had happened they coped very well.”
The fire broke out where two wheelie bins and a compost heap are kept though it’s unclear how it began.
Mrs Coates, 74, married to David, 79, said: “They are our neighbours from heaven! They have always been good neighbours. I would also like to thank all the emergency services all of whom were amazing. We have been very fortunate. Thankfully Kathryn saw the flames.”
Firefighters from Huddersfield Fire Station were called to the blaze at 1.30am.
One said: “An elderly couple were in the bedroom and neighbours called the fire service and tried to raise the alarm for the couple.
“By the time we arrived the couple had just gotten downstairs and were being led to safety. Neighbours had started tackling the fire and we came along and did our bit.
“Gas, electric and solar panel companies were notified of the fire.”
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police confirmed they attended.