AN ELDERLY man was rescued from his burning home thanks to the rapid response of two brave neighbours.
The victim, believed to be Leonard Thompson, was trapped on the first floor of his terraced house when the fire broke out in Hapgood Close, Greenford last Friday (May 11).
Four fire engines carrying 20 firefighters arrived to tackle the blaze at 8.10pm. The flames were under control by 9.45pm.
But two men living a few doors along had already risked their lives by battling through the smoke to pull Mr Thompson to safety.
The 82-year-old was treated by paramedics and taken to Northwick Park hospital as a precaution. It is understood he had no major injuries.
A London Fire Brigade spokesman said: “Half the ground floor and part of the first floor and part of the roof were damaged.
“A neighbour or member of the public rescued a man from the first floor using a ladder before the brigade arrived.”
The Gazette was unable to contact the anonymous heroes, but one neighbour said: “We were surprised because everyone was inside when it started.
“I came out and saw the flames and lots of smoke and fire engines up and down the street. I heard two men from across the street helped the elderly man out.”
The cause of the fire is being investigated but another neighbour, who asked not to be named, described Mr Thompson as a ‘hoarder,’ rarely throwing anything away, which caused rats and other vermin to plague the street.
“He was a hoarder. He only shopped at car boot sales and his house was full with all sorts of stuff.
“I’m not surprised the fire happened. He could hardly get in and out of the house. No human being should be living in conditions like that and the council turning a blind eye. He was a danger to himself, his neighbours and a danger to the environment.”
A council spokeswoman said that social services had been in contact with the pensioner but the authority was unable to comment on individual cases.