Page last updated at 22:10 GMT, Monday, 4 May 2009 23:10 UK

Teenager helps save six from fire

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Leighton Griffiths explains what he and teenage friend Tyler Hulpin did to rescue the children.

A teenage boy has been praised for helping to save six children aged from five to 15 from their burning house.

Leighton Griffiths, 15, from Cwmbran, heard the youngsters screaming for help after the fire broke out in the Greenmeadow area early on Saturday.

The mother of five of the children rescued from the fire said her young neighbour had saved their lives.

South Wales Fire Service praised the "swift actions of the public", firefighters and fire control staff.

Fire crews were called to The Twinings at 0220 BST on Saturday, with the fire at an end-of-terrace house.

Leighton said he used a hosepipe to try to douse the flames while his stepfather Alan Probert and a neighbour put a ladder up to a window and got out three of the youngsters.

They could have died and I could not have lived my life knowing I could have done something
Leighton Griffiths

Meanwhile, unbeknown to Mr Probert, Leighton said he had gone into the property and rescued the three other children trapped in the burning house.

He collapsed and had to be taken to hospital afterwards with minor burns and a suspected broken rib.

Leighton said: "No matter how scared you might be, you've got to be brave enough to go in and get them. They could have died and I could not have lived my life knowing I could have done something.

"I class everyone who gave a hand at the time a hero because we all played a part in it."

The fire is believed to have started in the electrical fuse box at the house.

House in Greenmeadow, Cwmbran where the fire took place
The blaze broke out in the early hours of Saturday

They are the third family to have survived a blaze in the property in recent years.

Tracy Evans and her husband had been on their first evening out in 18 months when the fire started.

Mrs Evans said: "He's absolutely fantastic. He saved my children's lives. If it wasn't for him, my kids wouldn't be here now, and there's nothing I can ever do (for) that boy or repay him for what he's done."

The children have also made a thank you card for Leighton who celebrates his 16th birthday on Tuesday.

South Wales Fire Service said the blaze was being treated as accidental. Further investigations are being carried out with the police.

Richie Prendergast, the officer in charge of the incident, said due to the swift actions of the public, the fire crews at the scene and fire control staff, a great tragedy had been avoided.



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