Local media are declaring Vincent Jones a hero after he pulled a woman and her toddler from the wreckage of a collapsed home in a Manchester, England, borough on Tuesday.
At least 14 people, five of them children, were injured in a gas explosion in Salford that destroyed three homes, the Manchester Evening News reported. One of those injured is a 76-year-old woman who suffered 30 percent burns after her house collapsed. City West, which owns the properties, told the newspaper it was working on the houses which exploded.
Leon Barker, the father of a 3-year-old with a suspected skull fracture, cried as he recounted to the paper how the blast, which could be heard 10 miles away, woke him up.
"It was like a dream. One minute I was asleep and the next I was standing on the roof of my house searching through rubble for my kids," he said.
His 8- and 11-year-old children escaped with minor injuries.
Firefighters combing the rubble with sniffer dogs indicated emergency officials were still determining if there were more casualties, the Evening News said.
The mother and child rescued by Jones were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, the paper reported.
Jones and other witnesses were captured in a video posted on YouTube, describing the blast and response.
The 30-year-old man further told the Manchester paper that he ran out of his house after the blast and heard screams coming from one of his neighbor‚Äôs properties. He grabbed a ladder and climbed up it as ‚Äúthe whole house was subsiding,‚ÄĚ he said.
‚ÄúThere was a lady cowering in the room with her child who looked to be around 2 or 3. I grabbed the baby off her and passed him down the ladder to a couple of the other residents,‚ÄĚ he said.
He said they both seemed shaken but OK.
‚ÄúI waited with them until the paramedics arrived and then they took over. I wouldn't describe myself as a hero. I did what anyone else would have done. I did what I could to help. Probably adrenalin got me through,‚ÄĚ Jones told the Manchester Evening News.