Bristol smoke rescue pensioner gets bravery award
- 18 December 2013
- From the section Bristol
A 92-year-old Bristol woman who pulled a man out of his smoke-filled flat has won a bravery award.
Jessamine Skuse dragged 97-year-old neighbour Evan Davis to safety before going back into the property to raise the alarm.
Miss Skuse, of Knowle, said she did not consider herself a hero and had just used her wartime military training.
The Royal Humane Society has awarded her a Testimonial On Parchment for putting her life on the line.
Miss Skuse said she first smelled smoke when she got up at 06:00 one morning in February.
She went out into the corridor and could see "smoke billowing underneath the door" from Mr Davis's flat.
"I went along and banged on the door; he was sat in the chair half asleep and the room was absolutely full of smoke," she said.
Miss Skuse said: "I caught hold of him and got him up - he was very tall, over 6ft - and got him out into the corridor."
"I put him in my [shopping] trolley and said 'I'll wheel you out into some air'.
"I went [back] in and I pulled the cord and rang 999 and the fire brigade came."
Mr Davis died two weeks later in hospital and Miss Skuse said she did not understand why she was being called a hero.
She said her training as a plotter during German bombing raids on London in World War II taught her to remain calm in emergencies.
"What else could I do? I'm here, that's what I'm in the world for, to help people," she said.
"I think a lot of this might be my Army training. At 18 I was running out through the woods at Dartmoor with a pack on my back.
"I think things like that might have steeled me to be a bit strong."