Palma.—Last Thursday night an eighth-floor apartment in Can Pastilla suddenly burst into flames just after 10pm.
Fortunately for all those residents on the eighth floor, enjoying a quick dip in Cala Estancia with his wife after a BBQ was fireman Paul McCarron from Birmingham.

He was on holiday with his wife Selina and 13-year-old son Harry staying at the Hotel Alexandra and visiting lifelong friends and local resident, Sandra O'Grady and her family.

And, I guess like they say, once a fireman always a fireman and as soon as Selina had pointed out the flames shooting out of the window, Paul and his friend Richard Ross rushed to the scene. “AT first we went to the restaurant downstairs because we did not know how to get into the building. We then ran round the back and pounded up the stairs. I headed to the top floor while Richard banged on all the doors in an attempt to get everyone out of the building. “I had no T-shirt on but grabbed one off a bloke on my way up, tore it in half and wrapped it round the mouth. On the top floor where the fire was, the smoke was really thick, down to just a couple of feet off the ground so I had to crawl,” he told the Bulletin yesterday. “I found an elderly couple and got them out and then began searching the flats on the top floor. The door of the apartment which was on fire was open, so I guessed that the residents were either out or had managed to get out but I could not get too close because the flames were really hot and the smoke getting thicker and thicker and we were in pitch darkness, apart from the fire, the electricity had gone and there was no back up. “There were no fire or smoke alarms or extinguishers either so all Richard and I, who were first on the scene, and two other guys who came to help later was make sure no one was left on the top floor. “When I thought it was clear, I heard a woman screaming and managed to get her out and down the stairs just as the fire men arrived. She was suffering from the affects of the smoke I think and tried to return to her flat - the firefighters looked very professional and had all the right gear . “They looked very well organised and obviously knew what they were doing.” “So we then left them to it. Harry, my son, had come in at one point and to be honest, by then I was more worried about him. “He had watched from outside and Richard and I were deep in the smoke and flames, it must have been a very worrying moment for him, so by then, with everyone out, my main concern was finding Harry and assuring him that I was OK,” Paul said. “But, it was not just me. My mate Richard was key, he was watching my back all the time as I got closer to the fire zone while the other two, I don't know who they were also helped,” Paul added. Thanks to our hero British holiday makers, only one resident, a Belgian, suffered minor burns to his feet. Everyone else safely returned to their homes at midnight.

Paul flies home today and returns to fire duties on Tuesday.

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