Hero Asda worker sprinted into block of flats to save OAP from burning balcony

An Asda delivery driver has been called a hero after rushing to help a woman and save her from a flat fire.

Julie Briggs had been visiting her parents with daughter Abbey, 16, when she saw the blaze and smoke billow from the balcony at Glastonbury House flats in Pristfields, Middlesbrough.

Without hesitation, the mum-of-two dialled 99 and sprinted up four flights of stairs where the fire had broken out.

Julie, whose parents live on the 15th floor of the assisted living complex, luckily managed to wake up the occupant.

She doused the flames as they began to take hold, writes TeessideLive.

Fire crews have said the situation could have been much worse if she hadn't intervened so quickly.

The 37-year-old said: "I looked up and saw all this smoke coming from a balcony.

"I really didn't know what I was going to face or the extent of the fire. You could smell the smoke, but you couldn't actually see it.

"I ran up the stairs quite quickly as I think adrenaline had kicked in; I seemed to just glide up them.

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"I then knocked on the door in question and it did take the lady quite a while to answer it and she seemed a bit disorientated as if she'd been asleep."

Julie explained the 81-year-old resident had smelled smoke but thought it was coming from outside.

However, when Julie went inside she saw the fire was on the balcony after the artificial grass and chair caught alight.

She then ran to the kitchen and grabbed a bowl of water to throw on the fire four times to ensure the flames were out.

The balcony glass also shattered when the cold water met with the intense heat of the blaze.

She added: "I feared the balcony might have fallen off and I panicked a bit at that point."

Firefighters arrived and ensured the insulation was put out and said the other residents in the complex could have been at risk without her quick-thinking actions.

Julie said she feels proud of her actions and has since been hailed a hero by her family.

She said: "Abbey gave me a big cuddle and said 'mam, everyone here thinks you are a hero. I'm so proud of you'."

She has since been nominated for an Asda service superstar award.

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