Nathan Donlon valiantly runs into burning Whitehawk flats trying to save 58-year-old burns victim

Nathan Donlon

Nathan Donlon

First published in News by , Reporter

AN ASPIRING firefighter has been hailed a hero after bursting into a burning building to try and rescue his neighbour from the flames.

Nathan Donlon valiantly tried to save the 58-year-old who suffered serious burns and remained in a serious but stable condition yesterday.

The 24-year-old from Playden Close, Whitehawk, ran into Robert Lodge, also in Whitehawk, during the early hours of yesterday morning.

The trapped man was taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, with serious burns after the fire which is believed to have been started accidentally.

When Nathan – who said he had always ‘dreamed of running into a burning building to save someone’ – couldn’t gain access to the burning flat, he made sure all the other residents were evacuated.

He then sat outside the door of the flat until firefighters arrived and carried the man, who was unconscious, to safety.

The modest hero, who made the rescue attempt despite a suspected fractured kneecap and severe knee ligament damage, said he was woken up by what sounded like people throwing stones at a window.

He said: “When I saw the flames I just legged it over.

“I booted the first door down and then ran upstairs to the flat, but I could only just get it open.

“I knew there was someone in there because I could hear him gasping for air and struggling to breath.

“I think he must have been up against the door which is why I couldn’t open it.

“It was horrible knowing I couldn’t do anything, so I tried to make sure everybody else got out.”

He added: “When you’re a kid you always dream of running into a burning building and saving someone – I just thought this was my moment.

“I was thinking of applying to become a firefighter – now I’m definitely going to do it.”

Nathan’s mum Sandra Donlon watched in horror as her son ran down the road and immediately dialled 999.

She said: “Even with his knee he had to be the hero.”

Firefighters from Roedean fire station attended the incident at about 2am and were tackling the blaze for around three hours. A East Sussex Fire and Rescue spokesperson said there was no working smoke alarm in the property which caused the fire to spread quickly.

Comments (6)

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10:26am Fri 6 Jun 14

BlackRocker says...

Well done that man. It's refreshing to read a positive Whitehawk story.
Well done that man. It's refreshing to read a positive Whitehawk story. BlackRocker
  • Score: 17

11:11am Fri 6 Jun 14

ZeeGee, ffs says...

BlackRocker wrote:
Well done that man. It's refreshing to read a positive Whitehawk story.
It just goes to show that there are decent caring people everywhere.
[quote][p][bold]BlackRocker[/bold] wrote: Well done that man. It's refreshing to read a positive Whitehawk story.[/p][/quote]It just goes to show that there are decent caring people everywhere. ZeeGee, ffs
  • Score: 10

2:07pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Innocentbystander65 says...

This is a local authority owned block..... With no working fire alarms!!! WTF.
Maybe the council could spend less time (and money) tarting about on projects designed for their own egos (20mph, bus lanes, i360) and more on things that really matter.
It's almost criminal the level of incompetence shown by that bunch of..........
This is a local authority owned block..... With no working fire alarms!!! WTF. Maybe the council could spend less time (and money) tarting about on projects designed for their own egos (20mph, bus lanes, i360) and more on things that really matter. It's almost criminal the level of incompetence shown by that bunch of.......... Innocentbystander65
  • Score: 7

7:37pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Carlosmac says...

Very brave effort by this man. It's a shame the papers do not commend the firefighters who entered this building and actually rescued the occupant who was unconscious and badly burnt. If it was not for them he would be dead now. 5 fire appliances covering the city, will now be reduced to 4 because of the cuts that have been approved. 3 hours later the same fire crews from the city were called to another fire, persons reported trapped. 4 appliances covering our city is not enough. There are regularly multiple incidents happening at the same time in Brighton, if the appliances are busy there will not be enough to deal with a serious fire like this in time. Unfortunately the public do not know the facts and what is happening.
Very brave effort by this man. It's a shame the papers do not commend the firefighters who entered this building and actually rescued the occupant who was unconscious and badly burnt. If it was not for them he would be dead now. 5 fire appliances covering the city, will now be reduced to 4 because of the cuts that have been approved. 3 hours later the same fire crews from the city were called to another fire, persons reported trapped. 4 appliances covering our city is not enough. There are regularly multiple incidents happening at the same time in Brighton, if the appliances are busy there will not be enough to deal with a serious fire like this in time. Unfortunately the public do not know the facts and what is happening. Carlosmac
  • Score: 4

9:03pm Fri 6 Jun 14

angrymonkey says...

good on that man but don't go for a job as a firefighter it will do your head in the once good job has been torn apart over the last few years . I left last year and know people still in the job sick of it with the not knowing when your job will be cut next and loads of in fighting over jobs and back stabbing.
good on that man but don't go for a job as a firefighter it will do your head in the once good job has been torn apart over the last few years . I left last year and know people still in the job sick of it with the not knowing when your job will be cut next and loads of in fighting over jobs and back stabbing. angrymonkey
  • Score: 3

12:32pm Sat 7 Jun 14

clubrob6 says...

Well done I hope he is not one of the firefighters that are going to be made redundant,time is the most important thing with fires losing frontline firefighters and fire engines will cost lives.I don't know whats happened with our country we reward people for doing a great job by making them redundant.Its in other areas too after the last stint my brother did in Afghanistan he was rewarded with a redundancy letter as soon as he got home.We are cutting the wrong areas,but MPs don't care they are about to get there massive pay rise.
Well done I hope he is not one of the firefighters that are going to be made redundant,time is the most important thing with fires losing frontline firefighters and fire engines will cost lives.I don't know whats happened with our country we reward people for doing a great job by making them redundant.Its in other areas too after the last stint my brother did in Afghanistan he was rewarded with a redundancy letter as soon as he got home.We are cutting the wrong areas,but MPs don't care they are about to get there massive pay rise. clubrob6
  • Score: 0

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